Louisiana reaches deal for new hepatitis C treatment plan

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — For years, Louisiana offered hepatitis C treatment to only the most severe cases in its Medicaid program and prisons, unable to afford broader access to high-priced medications.

That will change in July, when the state rolls out a new treatment model it says can cure tens of thousands with the infectious disease.

Louisiana’s health department announced a “subscription model” deal with Asegua Therapeutics on Wednesday. Louisiana will pay a flat fee for unlimited access to hepatitis C medication for five years, able to treat as many people as it can.

Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says Louisiana hopes to treat 31,000 of the estimated 39,000 Medicaid patients and prisoners with the disease. Louisiana will pay $58 million annually for the drug access.

The federal Medicaid agency announced last week that Washington has received approval to use a similar plan for its hepatitis C patients.

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