Pennsylvania House Passes Legislation to Improve Access to Biomarker Testing & Precision Medicine

June 10, 2024

This afternoon, the Pennsylvania State House passed legislation that would ensure biomarker testing is covered by more insurance plans, including Medicaid, when patients need it.

Biomarker testing has revolutionized cancer treatment over the last few decades and is increasingly important in the treatment of other conditions, providing access to targeted treatment and tailoring care to a person’s individual disease. Targeted therapies often result in improved quality of life and survivorship. For example, patients with certain lung cancer types who received biomarker testing and then a targeted therapy saw a 31% reduction in risk of death. 

Unfortunately, insurance coverage for biomarker testing is failing to keep pace with innovation and advancements in treatment. As a result, many patients who should be receiving biomarker testing may be unable to access the most effective treatment for their disease.

Sponsored by Representatives Kyle Mullins and Minority Leader Bryan Cutler, House Bill 1754 aims to enable more Pennsylvanians to benefit from biomarker testing, a critical step in accessing precision medicine treatments.

Biomarker testing was instrumental in securing lifesaving care for stage IV lung cancer survivor and Philadelphia local Michael Hu.

“When I was first diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, I can recall my sister, who works in health care, saying to me, ‘the treatment you start on matters.’ Throughout the last two years, her words have stuck with me,” said Hu. “Because of biomarker testing, I got to start my treatment on the right foot, but, because of barriers to accessing biomarker testing, so many patients in Pennsylvania can’t start on the right foot. With the House’s vote, we’re another step closer to breaking down those barriers.”

House Bill 1754 now heads to the Senate for consideration. Senators Devlin Robinson and Lisa Boscola have been championing the Senate companion bill to House Bill 1754. ACS CAN and the coalition backing the biomarker bill are calling on Senate leaders to prioritize patients and pass the proposal without delay.

In 2024, approximately 27,570 Pennsylvanians will die from cancer. Improved access to biomarker testing can connect more patients to the most effective treatments, enabling more patients to live longer and better. For more information on precision medicine, cancer biomarkers, current barriers to biomarker testing and ACS CAN’s policy recommendations, visit:



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting


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Media Contacts

Casey O'Neill
Sr. Regional Media Advocacy Manager