Louisiana reaches 'Netflix-model' deal to tackle hepatitis C - (This Is Money via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Louisiana's health department on Wednesday announced that on July15, it will launch a "subscription" payment model under which the state will pay a flat fee for unlimited access to Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Epclusa for five years, and will be able to treat as many patients as it can, rather than pay a per-patient drug price, as reported by This Is Money.

  • Health Secretary Rebekah Gee said Louisiana hopes to treat 31 000 of the estimated 39 000 Medicaid patients and prisoners with the disease by the end of 2024, whereas the state treated about 1100 people last year.

  • Specifically, Louisiana will pay up to $58 million annually, or up to $290 million, for access to the generic form of Epclusa, with a portion of the costs covered by federal dollars, according to the health department. 

  • That $58 million is the same amount of money the state spent in the current budget year for hepatitis C treatments for prisoners and Medicaid patients, according to the news source. 

  • Gee has said a course of the medication can cost about $20,000 to $30,000, but the state couldn't afford the estimated $760 million to treat and effectively cure everyone in the state's care with hepatitis C under the traditional per-patient model, so health officials three years ago started looking for a different approach.

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