HCA finalizes contract with AbbVie to eliminate HCV in Washington State
Request supports Gov. Jay Inslee’s goal of eliminating the disease in Washington by 2030
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) has signed a contract with AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, in an effort to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Washington by 2030.
“Halting the spread of HCV means more than having a cure available,” said HCA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Judy Zerzan. “It takes committed partners and on-the-ground patient support. With this partnership, AbbVie will play an important role as part of a broader team of participants that includes clinicians, public health officials, the social service community, and the provider community.”
AbbVie has a long history in the field of infectious diseases, including HIV and HCV, and their extensive clinical, research, and market expertise, along with their proprietary data capabilities, will help Washington optimize HCV treatment. “While hepatitis C is curable, it continues to be one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the United States,” said Michael Norton, vice president, global medical affairs, AbbVie. “We look forward to this unique partnership with Washington that will allow us to tackle HCV elimination from multiple angles.”
As part of the partnership, AbbVie will coordinate with Washington to find individuals who are not yet treated; educate the health care workforce about screening and providing curative HCV treatment; and address barriers to care such as stigma, lack of urgency to treat among patients and providers, and access to HCV specialists.
One of the HCV elimination “boots on the ground” activities AbbVie will support is the local deployment of an HCV elimination awareness bus to areas with high-risk HCV populations. This strategy is part of a national program to educate the population about the importance of screening and linkage to care.
The contract’s modified subscription model implements an expenditure cap to ensure cost control while simultaneously increasing the potential to treat patients.
HCA issued the original request for proposal (RFP) on Jan. 22, 2019 to the Washington State’s online bid notification system.
HCV is the most common blood borne disease in the United States. Between 75 and 85 percent of people infected develop chronic HCV—a lifelong condition that can cause severe scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer, the need for a liver transplant, and even death. The death toll from HCV continues to rise, tied to the opioid epidemic and the rise in drug injection. About 65,000 Washingtonians live with chronic HCV; approximately 30,000 are covered by state-purchased health care insurance.