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Companies, states interested in Louisiana hepatitis C plan

By MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Three drug companies and numerous states are interested in Louisiana’s plan to use a Netflix-style subscription model to buy access to hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid patients and prisoners.
Health Secretary Rebekah Gee wants Louisiana to pay a drug manufacturer for unlimited access to its hepatitis C medication. The state will treat as many people as it can during the access period, rather than pay a per-patient treatment price, which can cost $20,000 to $30,000 each.
Louisiana’s plan could be a test case for treating a disease whose medication costs have been prohibitively expensive for some states.
The Department of Health announced Friday that AbbVie, Gilead subsidiary Asegua Therapeutics and Merck have responded to the bid solicitation.
Louisiana has an estimated 35,000 people with hepatitis C on Medicaid or in prison, relying on the state for care.


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