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Michigan hopes to lower its costs for treating people with Hepatitus C

Eric Molina

The State of Michigan hopes a new initiative will reduce its growing Hepatitus C treatment costs for state prison inmates and people with Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan insurance. 

Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection that can result in cirrhosis or cancer. 

The virus is transmitted through blood to blood contact with an infected person, such as sharing needles, or less often, sexual contact.  

About 90% of chronic Hep C infections can be cured with anti-viral medications, but the drugs are extremely expensive. It can cost between $40,000 and $80,000 to cure one person of Hepatitus C.

Michigan spent $22 million last year for Hep C treatment for Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan patients, and $10 million for infected state prison inmates. 

The state has issued a Request for Proposals, asking drug manufacturers to submit bids offering discounts, in return for being the state's preferred drug provider.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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