Monday, November 17, 2014

Medicaid patients denied new hepatitis C cures

Medicaid patients denied new hepatitis C cures
By Wes Venteicher, Chicago Tribune

"There's a difference between prescribing (hepatitis C) drugs and actually being able to get these drugs for our patients," said Dr. Andrew Aronsohn, a liver specialist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "It's becoming a very complicated issue."

The cash-strapped state faces a growing dilemma over how to balance public health and the spending of taxpayer dollars, as new specialty drugs emerge for hepatitis C and other sicknesses and more people areeligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

In addition to limiting Sovaldi to the sickest patients, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has set two dozen criteria for who can get the drug, including requiring that patients have no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse in the last 12 months and barring treatments not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.....

Reducing the cost of new hepatitis C drugs
Daclatasvir, Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and Sovaldi.
An index of articles & research weighing the pros and cons over the high price of hepatitis C drugs.
The situation has Medicaid plans and insurers nationwide groping for the right balance. Worldwide patients are unable to afford treatment, while others wait in the wings on coverage. 

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