The Louisiana Department of Health Releases Comments Submitted by Healthcare Providers, Payers, Pharmaceutical Companies, and Others

Baton Rouge, La. (September 21, 2018) The Louisiana Department of Health today released comments on the value of a “subscription model” to eliminate hepatitis C in the state. The comments -- from healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and others -- provide significant support for the state’s efforts to find an affordable approach to expanding access to curative treatment for hepatitis C infection, a lethal infectious disease.

Under a subscription model, the state would pay a drug manufacturer or manufacturers for unlimited access to the treatment for the individuals in Louisiana who are enrolled in Medicaid or in Louisiana’s correctional system. The payment to the manufacturer would be equal to or less than what the state is currently spending to provide the antiviral medication to these populations.

From August 7th to August 24th, the state sought public comment on this approach. There were 13 responses, including responses from healthcare providers, payers, the pharmaceutical industry, and others. The comments include support from a broad range of perspectives, such as:

  • Crescent Care, a federally qualified health center in New Orleans;
  • United Healthcare and Healthy Blue, managed care organizations in the Medicaid program;
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc., and AbbVie, Inc., manufacturers of curative treatment for hepatitis C;
  • PhRMA, the trade organization representing pharmaceutical manufacturers; and
  • The Boston Consulting Group, which is working on developing subscription payment models.

These commenters, and others, made a number of specific suggestions for how to design a hepatitis C elimination campaign, how to stock medications in pharmacies, how to include care for individuals with hepatitis C who are incarcerated, and how to address regulatory issues in the Medicaid program.

“Hepatitis C is the leading infectious disease killer of our time, and for tens of thousands a cure is out of reach,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary, Louisiana Department of Health. “The strong support for a subscription model confirms that we are within reach of a breakthrough in public health that will lead in the long-term to saving lives.”

The next step is for Louisiana to develop the subscription model in greater detail with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The Louisiana Department of Health is committed to transparency as this process moves forward. If waivers under the Medicaid program are required, these will be posted for public comment before submission to the federal government.

Click here to read the complete responses.

About the Louisiana Department of Health

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn visit or follow us on TwitterFacebook, or our blog.