BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s big news for Medicaid patients and people in the prison system battling hepatitis C.
A life saving subscription drug model rolled out the week of July 15, marking the beginning of new opportunities for people who would not have been able to afford the cure otherwise.
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has been working for the past three years to make this drug available to about 90,000 people estimated to have the virus, which is spread through contact with blood, like a transfusion or sexual contact. The cure requires patients to take one pill per day for 12 weeks. The state hopes with this new program they can actually wipe out the virus. WAFB caught up with a patient Wednesday, July 17 who found out just months ago that she was sick.
“That’s not hard at all, no needles and none of that. I’m really grateful for this,” said Tenina Augustus, a patient.
“If you’re in the emergency room for a different reason, you can ask for a test. If you’re at your primary care doctor, if you’re pregnant, if you’re an adult in Louisiana, you should get tested so that you can get cured of this disease,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of LDH.
For the next five years, people with Medicaid or in the prison system will have access to this drug program. People should talk to their doctors for more information.