There’s finally some new, far better (they are saying) treatments for Hep C, but they’re also far more expensive. At a grand a pill, only more progressed patients with Hep C will be getting it.
This is bad news for all those who were putting off treatment hoping for these new ones—if your insurance says no, that leaves you holding the bag for an almost 100k treatment. Sort of luckily, Hep C is usually slow to progress, so people seeking treatment early on (what is usually advised!) will be stuck with the old, still pretty expensive, ridden with horrible side-effects treatments.
Manufacturers maintain the sticker price is to recoup research costs, but if insurers will only rarely pay for it, they might be able to lower the price, sell more, and have similar profits, one would think.
If you have any risk factor for Hep C—needle exposure, being a baby boomer, exposure via hospital error, etc.—get tested. It can be very hard to treat Hep C once symptoms appear, because symptoms usually indicate severe liver problems. While you might have some time to wait for better treatment options, you dont have forever.
What do you think? How should health insurance companies decide who gets the new treatments? Do you think they’ll be as good as promised?