[USA Today] Could new hepatitis C drugs bust state budgets?

Mar 3, 2014

By Michael Ollove

Two new medications to treat the deadly epidemic of hepatitis C promise millions of Americans a better chance of a cure, shorter periods of treatment and fewer side effects than older drugs. They also threaten to bust state budgets and raise private insurance rates.

The new hepatitis C medications present a dilemma for Medicaid and other insurers, who must balance the cost against the huge number of people who could benefit from the treatment. A course of treatment costs between $84,000 and $168,000 — or $1,000 to $2,000 per pill.