Court paves way for Medicaid patients to get costly hepatitis C treatment

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Court paves way for Medicaid patients to get costly hepatitis C treatment

Some patients have waited years for effective medication to battle hepatitis C.

Adam Rabb holds the bottle of Harvoni pills in his hands, and it feels like a fistful of gold.

Except gold might have been easier for him to get.

Rabb, diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2010, needed a court order to get these pills. With one move from a federal judge, the 47-year-old Lakewood, Pierce County, resident is one of the first of potentially thousands of Washingtonians on Medicaid whose lives could improve with access to the so-called blockbuster drug.

A 12-week treatment of Harvoni has a 90 percent success rate for curing the blood-borne disease known for how it can scar the liver. It also carries a market price as high as $94,500 for a course of treatment.

As new drugs came on the market, Washington joined other states in restricting their use to only the sickest Medicaid patients. In early 2015, the Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) approved guidelines restricting access to hepatitis C drugs like Harvoni. It’s a move many states made out of concern over costs.

HCA approved a policy allowing Medicaid patients only with more advanced scarring of their livers to get treatments like Harvoni.

Read Full Article: Court paves way for Medicaid patients to get costly hepatitis C treatment | The Seattle Times

Read Full Article: Court paves way for Medicaid patients to get costly hepatitis C treatment | The Seattle Times

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