20 May 2019 - Louisiana is putting the final touches on a revolutionary deal that promises to simultaneously control health care costs and increase access to a drug that actually cures hepatitis C, an infectious disease that kills more Americans than any other, including HIV/AIDS.
The idea is remarkably simple: The state would pay a flat fee over a set number of years — in effect, a subscription — and in return, the drug company provides the drug to every sick patient covered by the state, without limit.
Both the state and the pharmaceutical manufacturer gain financial certainty from such an arrangement. The state can spread out its costs over a number of years, and tens of thousands of people with the disease can start taking the medicine and get cured, substantially reducing its long-term health obligations.
Several experts have praised the innovative arrangement. Neeraj Sood, professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, remarked that the model “can lead us out of our prescription drug crisis by bringing universal access without breaking the bank.”