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Op-Ed: Lift Restrictions to Increase Hep C Treatment

HHHRC Executive Director Heather Lusk

HHHRC Executive Director Heather Lusk and Dr. Christina Wang had an opinion-editorial published in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser on August 28 on the need to lift requirements that diminish access to life-saving treatment that cures those with hepatitis C. Here’s an excerpt:

“A recent report, Hepatitis C: State of Medicaid Access, graded Hawai῾i’s Medicaid program a “D” in its hepatitis C treatment access abilities, in large part because of prior authorization and other prescription requirements. Meanwhile, 14 states across the country have removed prior authorization for hepatitis C treatment for most state Medicaid beneficiaries entirely, as the treatment access landscape has changed over the past several years.

“Broader action beyond lifting Medicaid restrictions is needed if Hawai῾i is to meet WHO’s goal to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. Additional resources should be dedicated to populations that account for a large percentage of those living with hepatitis C in our community, including people who use drugs and people who are unhoused….”

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