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hepatitis C

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For many unhoused people living on San Francisco streets, maintaining good physical health is fairly low on a long daily to-do list. Basic survival — finding water, food, and shelter — can occupy much of one’s day and energy.
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Why not allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices? Economists such as Neeraj Sood worry such a move would hamper crucial innovations over time. But not everyone agrees.
Picture of Rebecca Plevin
The Los Angeles Department of Health Services will start approving hepatitis C drugs for active IV drug users. Until now, the department had withheld approval for anyone who had not been drug-free for at least six months.
Picture of Rebecca Plevin
"It's our obligation to offer treatment in a manner that's rational and logical," said the county's chief medical officer. "We identify the individuals for initial treatment right now, based on how we can offer the most care to the most people, who are going to benefit from it the most now."
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How one reporter "fell down a data rabbit hole" while investigating how many Medicaid patients were denied costly hep C drugs, and what she'll do differently next time.

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When extremely expensive new hepatitis C medications arrived on the market more than two years ago, private health insurers limited access to the very sickest. Now, two new analyses say that approach is shortsighted and counterproductive.

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Despite recent cost-cutting measures, California’s spending on pharmaceuticals has gone up, and so has the number of pricey drugs it is covering. It’s not clear state agencies have the means to balance drug cost pressures with the best interests of patients, taxpayers and public health.

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Headed to Cleveland this week for AHCJ's 2016 conference? Contributing editor William Heisel highlights some great panel discussions you won't want to miss.

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“Dollars that were intended for a wide array of medical services started being gobbled up by just one drug,” said Charles Bacchi, president of an industry trade group.

Picture of Pauline Bartolone

An unlikely coalition of health insurers, labor and consumer advocates are pushing for controls on high-cost drugs in the nation's most populous state. “California is truly ground zero for this fight,” one advocate said. “It is clear Congress as a whole is not going to take meaningful action."

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