Judge orders Washington Medicaid to provide lifesaving hepatitis C drugs for all

A federal judge has ordered Washington state’s Medicaid provider to cover expensive hepatitis C drugs for all patients with the liver-destroying disease, not just those who are sickest.

U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour granted a preliminary injunction Friday that forces the state Health Care Authority (HCA) to halt a 2015 policy that restricted access to the drugs based on a fibrosis score, a measure of liver scarring.

The injunction was a response to a class-action lawsuit filed in February on behalf of two clients of Apple Health — and nearly 28,000 other Medicaid enrollees with hepatitis C.

The two patients, a 53-year-old Seattle woman and a 47-year-old Lakewood man, were prescribed the drug Harvoni to treat their hepatitis C infections. But they were denied the drug, which costs about $95,000 for a 12-week treatment, because of its cost, the complaint said.

Harvoni is among the newest highly effective drugs that can halt the hepatitis C virus, posting a cure rate of at least 90 percent.

The injunction orders HCA to begin covering Harvoni “without regard

Article source: https://health.einnews.com/article/328406661/vO2uHJ0Xf4qN4Ig2?ref=rss&ecode=uiQ1mLaH2KVPSS4e