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Hep C Drug Access Still Problematic

Excerpt from POLITICO’s Prescription Pulse, published October 15, 2019. Written by Sarah Karlin-Smith.

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable and the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School sent a letter to CMS complaining that more than half of all state Medicaid programs still deny treatments to Hepatitis C patients. The letter comes on the heels of the groups’ third annual report grading states on the accessibility of the treatments. More than half of Medicaid programs received a “D” or “F” grade in the group’s first report, in 2017. Now, only eight did — and 19 states got an “A.”

States are not allowed to restrict access to drugs in Medicaid due to cost. But given the price tag of Hepatitis C drugs and the large population eligible for treatment, many groups have speculated that states have unfairly withheld the medicine.

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