Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kansas Agrees To Cover Potentially Life-Saving Drugs For Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

Kansas Agrees To Cover Potentially Life-Saving Drugs For Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C 
By Dan Margolies
Kansas has agreed to cover the cost of drugs to treat Medicaid patients with chronic hepatitis C without subjecting them to a lengthy list of requirements.

A legal settlement, which awaits final court approval, resolves a class action lawsuit alleging the state made it too difficult for hepatitis C patients to receive the potentially life-saving treatments.

The parties first notified the court in July that they had resolved the case after mediation. On Tuesday, the court set deadlines for approval of a final settlement.

“Essentially, the agreement is that all hep C patients who use Medicaid to get their drugs will be entitled to Mavyret or Harvoni, the two curative drugs, regardless of their fibrosis score,” said Lauren Bonds, legal director of the ACLU of Kansas, which along with the Shook Hardy & Bacon law firm, sued Kansas officials over the state's hep C treatment guidelines in February.

Fibrosis scores measure the health of the liver. Scores range from F0, referring to mild or no scarring of the liver, to F4, referring to significant liver damage or cirrhosis. Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program, known as KanCare, had limited coverage to patients with a fibrosis score of F3 or F4. 

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The controversy over expensive new drugs for hepatitis C
Link to a collection of current articles regarding the effectiveness and safety of generic hepatitis C medicines, addressing the high cost, insurance restrictions; private insurers/Medicaid and availability of generic versions/India, Egypt and other lower-income countries or through online "buyers clubs"

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