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New Hep C cure to cost $1,000 a day

High price tag of drug proves major concern for Medicaid.
Getty Images/file photo

Although Sovaldi has been hailed as a medical miracle treatment for hepatitis C, with a “90%-100%” cure rate according to manufacturer Gilead Sciences, there is growing concern about just how many of the 3.2 million people in the US afflicted with the disease will actually benefit from it. The main reason is the fact that it costs $1,000 a day, a particular worrisome price tag for many insurance companies. This is especially true for Medicaid managed plans, which are said to cover 20%-30% of all patients. How to fund the cost will be up to each individual state.

Hepatitis C, is an infectious disease causing inflamation and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), that, if left untreated, can ultimately result in liver cancer and liver failure, necessitating the need for a liver transplant. Spread via blood-to-blood contact, primarily through sharing of needles (including those used intravenously as well as for piercings and tattoos) and contact with unsterilized medical equipment, Hep C is one of the most common viral infections on earth, afflicting more than 200 million worldwide, and killing approximately 15,000 people a year in the US each year, according to the CDC.

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