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Expansion of Hepatitis C Drug Coverage in Massachusetts

Massachusetts takes steps including removing restrictions to increase Medicaid patients' access to life-saving Hepatitis C medications.

Cross-posted from CMS

Below is a statement from Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

“Today, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is taking steps that increase Medicaid patients’ access to Hepatitis C medications. Removing access restrictions will help Medicaid beneficiaries in Massachusetts receive these life-saving medications regardless of how beneficiaries receive their services or the plan in which they are enrolled. We appreciate the leadership that Governor Baker and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have demonstrated in taking these actions. Massachusetts joins other states including Delaware and Florida that have recently implemented or announced plans to enhance access to these important medications. We are pleased by these steps and are eager to work with a number of other states to follow a similar path.

“At the same time, manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and other stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring access to, and affordability of these medications. While we are encouraged that competition in the marketplace has resulted in significant reductions in price over the past year, CMS remains concerned that the cost of Hepatitis C medications remains high, placing a significant financial burden on states. We call on manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to continue to find innovative ways to make them more affordable to state Medicaid programs and the beneficiaries they serve.

“If CMS, states and stakeholders work together we have the opportunity to virtually wipe out Hepatitis C and provide a cure to all who need it. CMS continues to closely monitor state efforts to assure access to Hepatitis C treatment since the release of our guidance last November.”

In November 2015, CMS issued guidance to all states in State Release No. 172, titled “Assuring Medicaid Beneficiaries Access to Hepatitis C (HCV) Drugs”. CMS also sent letters to pharmaceutical manufacturers on their role ensuring access and affordability. To read the CMS guidance and letters to manufacturers, visit Medicaid.gov at: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/benefits/prescription-drugs/hcv-communication.html.



Posted In: 
Medicare and Medicaid
Health Insurance Reform
Tagged: Hepatitis C