Insurers Sued for Refusing to Pay for Expensive Hep C Drugs

Feb. 4, 2016

Class action lawsuits allege that two Washington state insurers — Group Health and BridgeSpan insurance — are unfairly limiting use of hepatitis C drugs due to cost.

The high price tags on direct-acting antivirals, such as Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni, prompted many state Medicaid programs and private insurers to restrict use only to people with the most severe liver scarring.

However, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recently updated its guidelines to indicate that the new direct-acting antivirals would benefit nearly all patients infected with HCV. According to Ele Hamburger, one of the lawyers involved in the suits, "If the new hep C drugs are now the standard for medical care, they should be provided to all patients and not rationed to a few."

Read the Seattle Times article