Statement from Secretary Gee:

I want to thank everyone who submitted thoughtful comments on these recommendations for expanding access to Hepatitis C treatments in Louisiana.

Through this process, we received a number of powerful statements from patients, family members, health care professionals, other Louisiana residents, and national advocacy groups highlighting the burden of Hepatitis C and expressing their support for these recommendations.

I also appreciate the comments from the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders expressing concern about this interpretation of 28 U.S.C. §1498 and the impact of these recommendations on economic interests and innovation. I was disappointed that those opposed did not offer an alternative approach to help Louisiana residents obtain Hepatitis C treatments at affordable prices, however our Department will continue to consult with additional stakeholders as we move forward with our consideration for a solution. We will keep you all informed of our next steps.

Click here to review a summary of public comments received.

Click here to review public comments received.

May 08, 2017

Hepatitis C is a serious condition that affects approximately 73,000 Louisiana residents, with approximately 250 to 500 new cases per year. Through advancements in pharmaceutical science, a cure fortunately exists. However, the cost of these curative pharmaceuticals is extremely high and is negatively affecting the ability of the State of Louisiana to provide needed care and reduce the risk of transmission to others across Louisiana. Without question, this devastating disease poses a substantial risk to the public health of Louisiana, as well as other States.

Based on the above, Louisiana is looking at innovative mechanisms that will allow us to treat those affected in an economical fashion, drastically reducing the long-term costs associated with untreated Hepatitis C. The populations affected may be privately insured individuals, persons enrolled in Medicaid, and some currently uninsured. The goal of the Louisiana Department of Health is to increase access to these effective treatments across the total population spectrum.

The Louisiana Department of Health is reviewing public comment received between May 8, and June 7, 2017.  

The public comment period is closed.