Hepatitis C is a serious condition that affects approximately 73,000 Louisiana residents, with approximately 250 to 500 new cases per year. Through advancements in pharmaceutical science, a cure fortunately exists. However, the cost of these curative pharmaceuticals is extremely high and is negatively affecting the ability of the State of Louisiana to provide needed care and reduce the risk of transmission to others across Louisiana. Without question, this devastating disease poses a substantial risk to the public health of Louisiana, as well as other States.
Based on the above, Louisiana is looking at innovative mechanisms that will allow us to treat those affected in an economical fashion, drastically reducing the long-term costs associated with untreated Hepatitis C. The populations affected may be privately insured individuals, persons enrolled in Medicaid, and some currently uninsured. The goal of the Louisiana Department of Health is to increase access to these effective treatments across the total population spectrum.
The Louisiana Department of Health is seeking public comment over the next 30 days related to this issue. The comments can provide insight to other mechanisms that may provide cost-effective access to this population.