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Over the past few years, state Medicaid programs have done a better job of disclosing information about access to expensive hepatitis C medicines and fewer are restricting treatments to patients, according to a new analysis.

For the first time, each state program has released treatment criteria. And since 2017, 32 states have either removed or eliminated restrictions based on a patient’s stage of liver disease, 21 have loosened rules that required patients to demonstrate they have not abused or drug or alcohol for a period of time before starting treatment, and 25 state scaled back prescribing restrictions for health care providers.


Moreover, seven states have removed all treatment restrictions and also eliminated requirements for prior authorization, according to the latest survey of Medicaid programs by the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. Prior authorization refers to obtaining approval before a medicine can be prescribed.

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  • This is something that I never quite understood. Hepatitis C is a contagious disease and there are 3 million+ Americans infected. If some sort of deal was made 10 years ago, between insurers and pharma, perhaps access could be given to everyone with a positive hep-C test. Perhaps all could have been treated, at an agreed upon lower price. Stop infecting others and stop the “epidemic.” Instead, patients are denied access, remain infected, infect others and prolong the epidemic, with higher health care costs in the long run. My opinion.

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