Days at the Capitol & Site Visits

Network advocates visit with lawmakers to educate them on the issues impacting their patients and practices.
January 31, 2024

Texas Oncology Presents Representative Cody Harris with the “Heroes Who Conquer Cancer,” Award


In Palestine, Texas on January 30th, Texas Oncology hosted an advocacy dinner honoring Representative Cody Harris, HD 8, with the “Heroes Who Conquer Cancer,” award, for his pivotal role in passing HB 1647. This legislation safeguards patient choice by preventing Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and insurers from mandating patients being treated in the community setting with chronic, complex, rare, and life-threatening conditions to use PBMs’ mail-order specialty pharmacies to receive their physician administered drug (chemotherapy). Representative Harris, a staunch advocate for the patient-physician relationship, also championed anti-steering legislation with HB 1919 in 2021.

Consider a common scenario: a patient in a community oncology practice faces delays to their therapy due to insurer-mandated “white bagging.” This policy forces patients to use insurer or PBM-owned pharmacies, hindering timely adjustments to chemotherapy doses. Representative Harris’s efforts ensure patients have access to timely, quality care in their community.

This issue extends beyond Texas, prompting states like Louisiana and North Dakota to pass laws against white bagging mandates. A positive shift is underway as more states adopt regulations restricting these practices, protecting patients access to safe and timely care.

We thank Representative Cody Harris for being a hero and champion for cancer patients!