Blue Cross Withholds Cure from Hepatitis C Patients, Lawsuit Claims

LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court today accusing Blue Cross of withholding a cure for Hepatitis C based only upon profits, in violation of California law.

The plaintiff, Shima Andre, suffers from Hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease that can lead to complications including severe liver damage, infections, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. But a new treatment is radically changing the lives of those living with Hepatitis C.  The treatment—Harvoni— was just approved by the FDA in 2014 and was even designated as a “breakthrough therapy” for its revolutionary ability to treat and cure Hepatitis C. In clinical trials, Harvoni cured Hepatitis C in 95-99% of patients within only twelve weeks.

But according to the lawsuit, Blue Cross has arbitrarily chosen to give the treatment only to those patients suffering from the worst stages of liver damage. Despite the opinions of other patients’ treating doctors,  they are told by Blue Cross that they must wait for the cure, suffer serious liver damage, and only then will they be eligible for Harvoni. No known medical study supports this decision—and no part of Shima’s insurance policy grants Blue Cross this arbitrary authority.

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