Ask About Adherence is a blog series featuring Q&A’s with experts and new medication adherence resources. In this post, we feature a recent study on the savings associated with new hepatitis C treatments.
A new study in the American Journal of Managed Care found that, by 2022, a total of 331,967 Medicaid enrollees are estimated to have been cured of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), leading to an estimated total savings to Medicaid of $12 billion, net of treatment costs, from avoided health care costs.
The Medicaid population has a high prevalence of HCV, a disease associated with expensive complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. But highly effective interferon-free Direct-Acting Antivirals (DAAs), first approved in 2013, can cure this disease, and avoid the substantial health care costs associated with HCV and its complications. For example, on an individual basis, a patient cured of HCV can expect to fully offset costs of DAA treatment after only 16 months.
By 2017, annual cost savings associated with curing the disease are estimated to have exceeded treatment costs to Medicaid. Year after year, as more patients in Medicaid are cured and savings continue to grow, the total cost of DAAs since the introduction of these treatments are fully offset by the total savings achieved through reduction in health care costs. By 2022, the cumulative amount of these savings is estimated to reach $12 billion dollars.
Projecting these findings out further, another analysis estimated the cumulative amount of these savings to Medicaid, net of DAA costs, will reach $52.7 billion by 2028.
Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC. Analysis based on results reported in Roebuck M, Liberman J. Burden of Illness of Chronic Hepatitis C in Medicaid. Am J Manag Care. 2019; 25:-S0
To learn more about how medicines are often the most cost-effective means of preventing and treating disease, visit www.letstalkaboutcost.org.
Katie Koziara Katie is a director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. She previously ran the social media strategy for a D.C.-based non-profit working on federal management and leadership issues. Outside the office, Katie can be found running on the mall, brunching with friends and cheering on the Michigan Wolverines.