Woman sues Anthem Blue Cross for refusing to cover hepatitis C drug - (Los Angeles Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A woman in California filed a lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross after the insurer refused to cover Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Harvoni, Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
  • "We may approve Harvoni when the liver has a certain amount of scarring on a liver biopsy," the company said, adding "records we received do not show that your liver has this amount of scarring."
  • In the lawsuit, the woman states that she wants to cure the disease before permanent liver damage occurs, adding that Anthem Blue Cross denied coverage for the drug despite a recommendation from her doctor.
  • "How can it not be medically necessary when your treating doctor recommends it, it’s the standard of care and it will cure the disease," questioned Ricardo Echeverria, an attorney representing the woman.
  • In the lawsuit, the woman accuses Anthem Blue Cross of breach of contract, infliction of emotional distress and unfair business practices and seeks certification as a class action lawsuit.
  • Gilead has received criticism for the prices of Harvoni as well as Sovaldi, while the Philadelphia Transit Authority filed a lawsuit against the company last year arguing that its prices for hepatitis C drugs amounted to "price gouging."

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