California Agencies’ Policies on Coverage for Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Vary
California paid $58 million to treat prison inmates with advanced hepatitis C with Sovaldi and Harvoni, the only two drugs that can cure the disease at a cost of $95,000 for a 12-week treatment. However, data show that privately insured patients and Medi-Cal patients have to go through lengthy appeals processes to get coverage for the treatments and that a majority of those patients are denied coverage. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. Charles Bacchi, president and CEO of the California Association of Health Plans, said health plans are covering the drugs, noting that state agencies each have their own guidelines for allowing coverage and such guidelines are "all evolving."
- "Hepatitis C Drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni Out of Reach for Most, Except Inmates" (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News/Long Beach Press-Telegram, 10/23).