Rationing of hepatitis C drugs may lessen with age

A report from this month’s Liver Meeting revealed that in some states, Medicaid has refused payment for antivirals to 50 percent of hep C patients. Often patients are told that their fibrosis is not advanced enough to warrant treatment.

In many cases, fibrosis becomes advanced after people reach age 65, when they are eligible for Medicare. The program for older Americans is federally funded. It more likely than cash-strapped states to pay for the drugs, Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, told Medscape this week.

The Department of Health and Human Services is set to debate this and other drug-cost issues tomorrow. The forum on Innovation, Access, Affordability and Better Health can be viewed in a live webcast at 9 a.m. EST, Friday, Nov. 20. http://ow.ly/URrJX

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