Nearly Half of Hepatitis C Patients on Medicaid Denied Coverage for Life-Saving Drugs, Penn Researchers Report

First Data to Report on Denial and Delay Rates for Hepatitis C Antiviral Agents

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly 50 percent of Medicaid patients infected with chronic hepatitis C whose doctors had prescribed newer, life-saving antiviral drugs were denied coverage to the therapies because they weren't considered “a medical necessity” or because the patients tested positive for alcohol/drugs, among other reasons, according to new Penn Medicine research. The data was revealed through a prospective analysis of prescriptions submitted to a specialty pharmacy that services patients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Vincent Lo Re III, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the division of Infectious Diseases at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Clinical Biostatistics and Epidemiology, will report the findings at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) 2015 Liver Meeting (Abstract #LB-5).


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