Most states violate federal Medicaid law
because they deny coverage for sofosbuvir, a new and highly effective
treatment to cure hepatitis C, according to Lynn E. Taylor, M.D.,
director of The Miriam Hospital's HIV/Viral Hepatitis Coinfection
Program. Taylor's team of researchers examined Medicaid policies for
hepatitis C virus treatment using sofosbuvir, more commonly known as
Solvadi, and found that most should change policy to improve access to
the treatment. The study and its findings were published online in
advance of the August issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Hepatitis C virus affects over three million Americans. Worldwide, an estimated 120 to 150 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Left untreated, the infection can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. Sofosbuvir is a highly effective pharmaceutical used in combination with other medications to cure the disease.
Taylor's research team, which included the Harvard Law School Center
for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Treatment Action Group, Kirby
Institute of Australia, and Brown University, found that most Medicaid
coverage restrictions for sofosbuvir violate federal Medicaid law, which
requires states to cover drugs consistent with their U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) labels.
Labels: Medicaid restrictions, socioeconomic barriers