Louisiana patients with Hepatitis C will soon be receiving treatment that will help cure the disease.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Corrections partnered with Asegua Therapeutics LLC to provide the state unlimited access to its antiviral medication for five years through a Netflix type subscription plan.
The goal of the plan is to eliminate the virus in the state.
Department of Health secretary, Rebekah Gee, says the price of medication was initially nearly $90,000, but majority couldn’t afford it.
“It’s about treating th 36,000 odd people we think are on Medicaid. Only three percent were treated last year and that’s unacceptable,” Gee explains.
The plan will also include those infected who are incarcerated.
“People can leave jail and are less likely to infect those in the community, but also healthier and better able to work and go back to the community where they came from,” Gee says.
The state spends roughly $35 million on treatment annually and hopes to keep that same spending costs through this new plan.
Now that the innovation is in place, the same objective remains.
“Our children and their children won’t even know what hepatitis c is. That’s our goal.”
Gee anticipates the plan to begin July 1st. The state has a goal of treating more than 10,00 Medicaid-enrolled and incarcerated individuals by the end of 2020.
She encourages those with insured with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, United, or private to get tested. Patient assistance is available for those uninsured.