Light Drizzle
39°FLight DrizzleFull Forecast

Illinois Medicaid restricts use of hepatitis drug

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:07 p.m. CST

CHICAGO — Illinois is placing tight restrictions on a new hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 per pill. Medicaid patients must meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government health care program will pay for Sovaldi.

The drug can stop the liver-damaging virus, but it comes with a budget-straining price tag.

Illinois approved the restrictions this month after spending $16 million on Sovaldi this year. Medicaid medical director Dr. Arvind Goyal says the cautious approach was appropriate because there isn't yet enough research on Sovaldi in minority patients and other groups.

But doctors who've seen Sovaldi wipe out the virus say the rules are too limiting. Dr. Steven Flamm of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine says the rules could eliminate most patients he'd like to treat with Sovaldi.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Daily Chronicle.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

Rod Carey Boca Raton Bowl press conference

More videos »

Reader Poll

What's the longest your hair ever has been?
Below my beltline
Middle of my back
Shoulder length
Over the ears
I always crop it close