A new model of HCV treatment access

Although the new drugs to treat HCV are very effective (at least 9 out of 10 people can be cured in 8-12 weeks), they are very expensive, especially for people who do not have insurance. Even for patients with insurance, co-pay costs may make treatment unaffordable. Prices are so high that state-funded programs like Medicaid are unable to treat all patients. This means that a lot of chronic HCV is left untreated, which can lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer. Two states in the US have developed ways to address the high cost of HCV pharmaceuticals. Using a subscription approach, the state contracts with a pharmaceutical company to pay a flat fee for a unlimited access to HCV medication for a set period of time. This means that states can shift their focus to treating as many people as possible. At STOP HCC-HCV, we recognize the potential for this model to transform treatment access, but understand the need for training more primary care providers to treat HCV so that every person who is infected can be connected to a provider who can treat them.

Learn more about what is happening in Louisiana here.

Learn more about Washington State’s approach here.

If you or your patient does not have insurance that will cover HCV treatment, consider a pharmaceutical assistance program. For eligible patients, treatment can be at a reduced cost or even free. Learn more about available programs here.

Learn more about how the STOP HCC-HCV program empowers primary care physicians to treat within their practice here.

 

 

Photo by Phillip Chen on Flickr

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