HCA issues request for proposals from drug manufacturers for hepatitis C treatment and services
The Heath Care Authority (HCA) this week released a request for drug manufacturers to propose a new approach to providing costly but curative hepatitis C drugs. The proposals must include descriptions of outreach and screening to those potentially living with hepatitis C, and a competitive price on the drug.
The request for proposals is open through March 4.
Hepatitis C is the most common blood borne disease in the United States. Between 75 and 85 percent of people infected develop chronic hepatitis C virus—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.
Gov. Jay Inslee in September unveiled a first-in-nation approach to eliminating hepatitis C in Washington by 2030. His Directive 18-13 directs HCA to initiate an innovative strategy to purchase curative hepatitis C virus medications. This request for proposals addresses that directive. The next step will be for HCA to work with partners to assess whether we can extend our purchasing and public health strategy to Washington’s major purchasers and commercial insurers, as well as other states or purchasers.
HCA and the Department of Health are collaborating with other state agencies on these efforts:
- Office of the Governor
- Department of Corrections (DOC)
- Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC)
- Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)
- Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)