‘Game-Changing’ Bill Becomes Law in Iowa, Opening the Door to Precision Medicine for More Patients

Governor Kim Reynolds Signs Biomarker Testing Bill Into Law, Helping Connect Patients with the Right Treatment at the Right Time

May 1, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill today, expanding access to biomarker testing to more patients statewide. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and its team of volunteers, including cancer survivors, patients and caregivers, applaud the governor and state legislators for taking this extraordinary step in prioritizing the needs of patients in Iowa and revolutionizing their access to care. 

“Research and technology have helped save countless lives from cancer and this bill opens new opportunities for Iowans to receive the best care they can to win the battle against cancer. I’ve seen firsthand what a difference biomarker testing can make. These necessary advancements will be available to patients across Iowa,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. 

In 2024, 20,930 Iowans are projected to be diagnosed with cancer and 6,250 are expected to die from the disease. Biomarker testing has become a game-changing part of cancer care in recent years. Testing is a necessary first step in opening the door to precision medicine and targeted treatments which can lead to improved survivorship and quality of life. After a cancer diagnosis, biomarker testing can help connect patients with the right treatment at the right time. As a result, patients may be able to avoid unnecessary or ineffective treatments with potentially life-altering side effects.  

“Today is an important win for cancer survivors and patients across Iowa,” said Maria Steele, volunteer with ACS CAN. “I am thrilled that more Iowans will have access to targeted therapies like the ones I was fortunate enough to have. They greatly improved my quality of life.” 

Currently, many Iowans don’t have access to the biomarker testing they need, in part because their healthcare insurance plan doesn’t cover the testing needed to best inform their treatment. Despite the enormous proven benefits, some insurers have failed to keep pace with innovations and advancements in biomarker testing and treatment. This results in some patients being forced to decide whether to pay out-of-pocket or go without the needed testing.  

State-regulated insurance companies, including Medicaid, will now be required to cover biomarker testing for patients when supported by medical and scientific evidence. Expanding access to biomarker testing will help bridge the divide between marginalized communities and access to the cancer care they deserve.  

“Patients benefit by more effective care,” said Rep. Brian Lohse. “Care that can better treat their condition and allow the doctor to avoid treatments that are both ineffective and could lead to other harmful results.” 

“With the passage of this legislation we are definitely going to help Iowans,” said Sen. Waylon Brown. “At the end of the day, the goal is to save lives.”  


About ACS CAN  
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit  


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