DSS PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
January 26, 2015
Contact: Rebecca Woelfel
Missouri, as part of 25-state consortium, designates new Hepatitis C drug for Medicaid patients; reaches agreement that will save taxpayers millions of dollars in Fiscal Year 2016
Viekira to replace Sovaldi as preferred treatment option; pharmaceutical maker to pay rebate to the state
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The State of Missouri, as part of a 25-state purchasing consortium, entered into an agreement on Jan. 22, 2015 to begin using Viekira for Medicaid patients with Hepatitis C who meet certain medical criteria. Viekira was recently approved by the FDA on Dec. 19, 2014.
Under the agreement reached late last week, the company that makes Viekira, AbbVie, has agreed to provide a rebate to states participating in the consortium. For Missouri, it is estimated that switching to Viekira will reduce overall costs of treating Hepatitis C patients by 30 to 40 percent and result in savings of $4.2 million in Fiscal Year 2016.
Federal law requires states to make this treatment available to Hepatitis C patients who meet certain medical criteria. Effective immediately, Viekira replaces the drug Sovaldi as the preferred treatment option for Hepatitis C patients enrolled in Missouri’s Medicaid program who meet these criteria.
Missouri Medicaid patients who have been approved for Sovaldi as of Jan. 1, but have not yet started treatment, will now be prescribed Viekira. Patients who have already begun treatment with Sovaldi will continue to use Sovaldi for the remainder of their treatment. Sovaldi will also continue to be approved for patients for whom Viekira is not an effective substitute, which is estimated to be about 15 to 20 percent of Hepatitis C patients.
For an able bodied adult in a family of four to be eligible for Medicaid in Missouri, the family must earn less than 19 percent of the federal poverty level, or $4,532 a year.