The Kaiser Family Foundation (KKF) has published several articles of interest to Asknod members.
One April 14 headline reads: Biggest Insurer Shocked with Hepatitis C Costs.
Quote: “United Health Group spent $100 million on hepatitis c drugs in the first three months of the year, much more than expected, the company said Thursday.”
Uh-oh. High demand and 80K plus per patient in costs have insurers stock costs dropping. Well, they’ve tried to keep the lid on this disease for decades and now it’s off.
KKF links to this VA March 27, 2014 38-page document for providers. It details a “preferred treatment approach” for HCV by genotyping and other factors for “patient selection.” It’s clear that VA hepatologists and experts have been working hard on this strategy to deal with all the newly diagnosed veterans. They have lots of studies and rationales to back up who gets what and when to manage their HCV crisis.
This article,VA, California panels urge costly drugs for sickest Patients, links to the new WHO 124-page (April 2014):Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection
Unless the cost of the new drugs are drastically reduced, widespread rationing can be expected. HCV patients will be stigmatized further as undeserving greedy people who…
- dare seek a cure at the expense of the innovative drug researchers (who deserve their high-living wages for staying up all night in the lab), and
- keep our altruistic health insurance CEOs up at night with worry, and
- who torment the generous House members who fund the VHA’s budget. By golly, we won’t let HCV-veterans defeat our great nation by breaking the bank!
This is going to be hard for veterans who suffer from the largest cluster of HCV-infections in America by far, because the VHA does not currently have the funds available to treat everyone, other government programs may not be much better off, and private insurers are beginning to panic. I suspect that patients, including veterans, co-infected with HIV/HCV, will be more likely to get the new antivirals because of existing public policies. But what about the majority who may find themselves with nowhere to turn?