Aug 10, 2018

Netflix, but for prescription drugs

Here’s a drug project to watch: Louisiana officially unveiled a proposal this week in which the state would pay drug companies fixed prices over several years for “unlimited access” to hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid and prison populations.

The big picture: Louisiana is calling it a “subscription payment model” — kind of like Netflix. Except instead of nonstop streaming, Louisiana gets as many hepatitis C treatments as it needs. Louisiana thinks it can save money and lives, while locking in revenue for drug companies.

What they’re saying: Gilead Sciences, the dominant maker of a hepatitis C cure, appears to be on board.

  • “I think there is a pretty good meeting of the minds between Gilead and the state of Louisiana,” a Gilead executive told NPR last month. “Ideally, we’d have something in place this year.”
  • Comments about the model are due by Aug. 24.

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