Q&A Addresses State Medicaid Drug Coverage

As reported on Stateline, State Medicaid offices are confronting a difficult scenario with regard to Sovaldi, a drug that can cure Hepatitis C. The high cost of the drug has lead to protests throughout the country.

Stateline describes how state Medicaid offices are navigating the Sovaldi situation,

Because of its high cost, some state Medicaid programs and prison systems are refusing to provide Sovaldi to any but the sickest patients. Most recently, Oregon last month threatened to limit access to the drug unless it can get Sovaldi at a deeply discounted price.

“Sovaldi is a seminal event,” said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “It’s clear that states are not equipped to handle this. They simply do not have the tools to maintain control.”

According to the CDC, an estimated 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C virus infection. Most people do not know they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick.

For a better understanding of  what states can do to hold down drug costs, see the full Q&A from Stateline.

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