The Washington Post 05/03/2017

Louisiana Revisits an Old Law to Address Drug Pricing

Sarah Jane Tribble writes about a Louisiana proposal to lower the cost of Hepatitis C drugs. Tradeoffs to fund these treatments are enormous, as shown by the DPL's budget allocator tool.

Louisiana proposes to make use of an old intellectual property law that would allow it to treat Hepatitis C among its residents, which it cannot afford at current prices. The tradeoffs of funding this treatment are demonstrated by the Louisiana budget allocator tool, developed by the Drug Pricing Lab.

“Using estimates of drug costs from Gilead’s public filings, the tool shows how millions of dollars would need to be shifted in the state’s discretionary budget to pay for those treatments. For instance, cutting K-12 funding by $26 million would cover treatments for 3,176 hepatitis C patients. Too often, [Dr. Bach] said, discussions about costs do not illustrate the trade-offs. ‘These numbers are so large that it’s very difficult to think about them proportionately’.

Read the full article here.

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