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VA, California Panels Urge Costly Hepatitis C Drugs For Sickest Patients
April 17, 2014, 11:02:47 AM
Doctors should consider expensive new hepatitis C drugs for patients with advanced liver disease, including those awaiting transplants, but ask most others to wait for drugs in development, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.

A California panel made similar recommendations Monday, saying in a report to insurers, providers and consumers that immediate treatment with the new drugs, Sovaldi and Olysio, should be given to those with advanced disease, but could be delayed for others.

Limiting the number of patients treated with the drugs may prove controversial but necessary because the costs per patient can run from $70,000 to $170,000, and there may be too few specialists to handle a sudden influx of patients, according to the report from the California Technology Assessment Forum. An estimated 3 million Americans have hepatitis C.

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Source: Kaiser Health News