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Hepatitis C Drugs Top State Medicaid Pharmaceutical Expenditures

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Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences’ drug for treatment of hepatitis C, ranked among the top 5 pharmaceutical expenditures for 33 states’ Medicaid programs in 2014, according to data released recently by 2 members of the Senate Finance Committee (

In 14 states, Medicaid programs spent more on Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) than on any other drug, according to the new data, released by ranking member Ron Wyden (D, Ore) and Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) ( Because a course of treatment costs $84 000, Medicaid programs were able to treat only 2.4% of approximately 700 000 enrollees infected with hepatitis C.

Wyden and Grassley also released letters from 10 states illustrating how Sovaldi’s high price affected their budgets (

For example, if Washington State’s Medicaid program “were to pay for hepatitis C treatment for all Medicaid clients infected with hepatitis C, the cost would be 3 times the current total pharmacy budget,” wrote MaryAnne Lindeblad, BSN, MPH, Medicaid director for Washington State.

read more at JAMA

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