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Study Predicts Huge Toll Of Hepatitis C Drugs On California Budget
Kaiser Health News

California taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars to treat hepatitis C patients in various state-funded programs, according to a report released Tuesday by an insurers’ trade group.

The analysis commissioned by the California Association of Health Plans estimates that paying for the patients’ high-priced hepatitis C medications in prisons and state hospitals, or through Medi-Cal and other state programs, could range from $512 million to $5.1 billion. The wide-ranging estimates depend on how many patients are treated and how much the drugs are discounted by manufacturers.

Charles Bacchi, president and CEO of the association, said the report underscores what is to come in the near future when more costly prescription drugs are approved. The high costs aren’t sustainable for health plans, consumers or taxpayers, Bacchi said.