Rules restricting access to hepatitis C drugs leave patients waiting

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s HIV outbreak has generated more concern about another potentially deadly infection – hepatitis C.

But an I-Team 8 investigation has found Indiana’s poorest patients are being denied access to hepatitis C drugs that could potentially cure them.

State Medicaid programs have restricted access to the drugs like Sovaldi, Harvoni and Viekira. Instead of distributing the medications to all those infected, states have set up restrictions that require patients to have certain symptoms – including a fatty liver or liver scarring – before they can get treatment.

It’s not just Indiana – 31 other states require patients to show signs of liver scarring and have a specialty doctor prescribe the medication, according to a June article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


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