States denying Hepatitis C treatments until patients face liver damage
NPR did a recent story on Hepatitis C treatment throughout the United States. There are over 3 million people in the U.S. living with Hepatitis C.
“Medicaid in at least 34 states doesn’t pay for treatment unless a patient already has liver damage, according to a report released in August.
There are exceptions—for example, people who also have HIV or who have had liver transplants—but many living with chronic hepatitis C infection have to wait and worry.
‘It is just not feasible to provide it to everyone,’ says Matt Salo, director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. ‘States have to make sure that we’re going to prioritize and that those who need it the most get priority treatment, and that’s what you’re seeing.’
States get a discount on the drugs, but Salo says even if they could cut prices in half, treating everyone with hepatitis C would still cost too much for states’ limited Medicaid budgets.”
It’s 2016, and yet people still have to wait until they are severely ill to get Hepatitis C treatment.
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