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As controversy continues over pricey hepatitis C drugs, a new study suggests expanding treatment to people with the earliest stages of the disease could cost one state Medicaid program another $700 million over the next decade, without improving overall health outcomes.

Specifically, the study determined that expanding treatment would require the Pennsylvania Medicaid program to spend an extra $693 million by 2025, but there would not be any substantial reduction in the number of liver transplants or liver-related deaths. The study, which was published in Healthcare, relied on a simulated model using data from the Pennsylvania Medicaid program.

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