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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has awarded a $480,000, two-year Research Scholar Grant to Stacie B. Dusetzina, PhD, assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, to support research on the impact of parity legislation on the use and costs of oral cancer medications.

The grant will fund Dr. Dusetzina’s research into the role of health insurance coverage on access to and use of cancer therapies. Studies have shown that higher drug prices and insurance co-pays can lead to reduced patient compliance to treatment, leading to reduced treatment effectiveness.

Many states have passed laws intending to improve access to orally-administered cancer treatments (commonly called “parity” laws) but their impact has yet to be studied. Dr. Dusetzina and her study team plan to evaluate the impact of these state parity laws on both patients and health plans in order to inform further state and federal legislative efforts.

Dr. Dusetzina received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy in 2010. Following the completion of her PhD, she received post-doctoral training in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and returned to UNC as a member of the faculty in August 2012 with a joint appointment to UNC School of Medicine and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Last year, she was awarded an institutional K12-award through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program.

About the American Cancer Society

For more than 65 years, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $4 billion to cancer research and has funded 47 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.