State Legislator Honored for Opening Door to Precision Medicine and Targeted Therapies

State Rep. Joy Garratt Recognized by Nation’s Leading Cancer Advocacy Organization for Increasing Access to Biomarker Testing in New Mexico

February 22, 2024

New Mexico Rep. Awarded w/ Legislative Champion AwardSANTA FE, NEW MEX. – February 22, 2024 – State Representative Joy Garratt was honored with the ‘Legislative Champion Award’ by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)  during a luncheon, Thursday. This award is the highest honor given by the organization. Garratt was recognized for her leading role in expanding access to biomarker testing in New Mexico. She served as a lead sponsor for HB 73 during the 2023 legislative session. 

The policy, signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, helped opened the door to precision medicine and targeted therapies for cancer patients and those battling other conditions. Garratt, an ovarian cancer survivor, joined other survivors and patients in rallying support for the bill, which became effective on January 1, 2024.

“Time is of the essence when you’re diagnosed with cancer,” said Garratt. “Biomarker testing has proven to be the key to unlocking precision or personalized medicine. It's the tool that allows doctors to connect patients who need it with the right treatment at the right time. I’m pleased more New Mexicans have access and look forward to the impact this policy will make for years to come.” 

In 2024, more than 11,000 New Mexicans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer; nearly 3,900 are expected to die. Lung and colon cancers are projected to be the deadliest types of cancer in the state. 

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 treatments with potentially life-altering side effects. 

State-regulated insurance companies, including Medicaid, are now required to cover biomarker testing for patients when supported by medical and scientific evidence. To date, 14 states have enacted laws increasing access to this type of testing. 

More Press Releases AboutAccess to Biomarker Testing, New Mexico

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