Panel recommends giving hepatitis C drugs to more Pa. Medicaid patients

hepc2MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – A state advisory committee, wading into one of the most fraught issues facing health-care policymakers, recommended Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program pay to treat all patients infected with hepatitis C.

The recommendation led to cheers – instead of the planned chants – from a dozen advocates who had been standing by quietly, not expecting the vote to go their way.

The first new treatments that can effectively cure more than 90 percent of hepatitis C infections began coming on the market two years ago. They cost up to $80,000 for a course of treatment, although Medicaid programs get discounts that can cut that amount in half.

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