An April 9th, 2016 article in the Boston Globe quotes CHLPI’s faculty director, Robert Greenwald, as it explores restrictions placed on access to curative medications for Hepatitis C (HCV) for patients enrolled in Medicaid.
The article, “Hepatitis C drug costs leave many without care,” profiles various patients who were able to receive the the HCV cure after legal action against the state and patients who are still living with HCV and trying to fight against restrictions.
Excerpt from article:
“Hepatitis C treatment costs tens of thousands of dollars per patient. The illness progresses slowly over decades, so most states’ Medicaid programs control costs by treating the sickest first and requiring others to wait.
The conflict over hepatitis C drugs, such as Sovaldi and Harvoni, heralds a challenge likely to persist into the future, as new drugs for other illnesses thrill doctors and patients with their effectiveness — and scare health plans with their prices…
Robert Greenwald, faculty director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School, in February led a class-action lawsuit against the state of Washington, asserting its Medicaid program was illegally rationing hepatitis C drugs.
In Massachusetts, he has written MassHealth officials asking to collaborate on ways to make the drugs more available. But state officials have rebuffed him, because, he said, they don’t want to admit ‘that it’s all about costs. . . . They know that’s not a legitimate grounds on which to deny people treatment.'”