The Louisiana Departments of Health and Corrections are welcoming public comment on the Louisiana Hepatitis C Elimination Plan, which was released today for review. This comprehensive, evidence-based and action-oriented plan seeks to guide efforts to achieve elimination of the virus as a public health threat in Louisiana by the end of 2024.
The cornerstone of this plan is the recent innovative purchasing model between the state and Asegua Therapeutics LLC, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences. This model allows the state to provide an unrestricted amount of Asegua’s direct-acting antiviral medication, the authorized generic of Epclusa® (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir), to treat patients within Louisiana’s Medicaid and Department of Corrections populations while capping the State’s costs for such medication. Through this, the state will be able to provide treatment to thousands of Medicaid-enrolled and incarcerated individuals.
The Louisiana Hepatitis C Elimination Plan has identified seven core strategies that will put Louisiana on the path to elimination in this ambitious timeline. The innovative payment model for hepatitis C medication is the first strategy, giving the state an unprecedented opportunity to leverage unrestricted access to a cure for hepatitis C. The other strategies supported by this unrestricted access to drug include:
- Educating the public on the availability of a cure and leading at-risk populations to screenings
- Expanding hepatitis C screenings and linking those who need it to care
- Strengthening the surveillance of and data from hepatitis C cure programs
- Expanding the number of providers who can treat hepatitis C
- Implementing preventive harm reduction and complementary treatment strategies
- Expanding elimination efforts to all populations within the state
With feedback and input, the Department will refine and build on this draft plan, ensuring that the final plan, due to be published later this year, reflects all constituents and community partners. Comments are essential to ending this epidemic in our state.
The deadline to submit public comment is September 20, 2019. To view the plan and submit comment, click here.