Oregon Health Plan to end ration of costly hepatitis C cure

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority is expecting to lift requirements that led to rationing the use of a $1,000-per-pill drug that can cure hepatitis C.

The Mail Tribune reports most patients covered by the Oregon Health Plan had to already have liver damage in order to qualify for the hepatitis C cure.

The state plans to lift that stipulation in March, allowing the treatment before people sustain liver damage from the disease.

Health officials say providing the drug to everyone with hepatitis C would have likely bankrupted the Oregon Health Plan and led to unaffordable premiums.

Prices of treatment are falling as more hepatitis C drugs and generics hit the market.

About a quarter of the state’s population is covered by the Oregon Health Plan.