Louisiana's experiment paying for hepatitis C drugs: lessons for other states, other treatments?


24 June 2019 - Beginning July 1 the Louisiana Department of Health will be implementing a groundbreaking licensing deal. 

The state will pay Gilead Sciences subsidiary Asegua Therapeutics for a generic version of the hepatitis C medication Epclusa for five years in exchange for unlimited access to treatment. Asegua Therapeutics won the contract in a competitive bidding process.

During the five-year period, Louisiana will treat as many Medicaid beneficiaries and prisoners as it can for a lump-sum, rather than pay a per-patient treatment price that is so costly it has severely limited access. This innovative arrangement has been called the Netflix model applied to pharmaceuticals.

The deal achieves an important public health objective: Early access to effective treatment, which can help the state avoid long-term costs.

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder