VA to stop restricting hep C drugs, offering them to all infected veterans

In a boost to Gilead Sciences ($GILD) and AbbVie ($ABBV), the Veterans Affairs Department says it will provide hepatitis C treatments to all veterans in its health system who have the virus, regardless of their disease stage, the Military Times reports. It says the VA last year got a budget boost to cover the cost of hep C meds for the estimated 174,000 veterans enrolled in the VA health system who have the disease. The publication says the VA projects it will spend $1 billion this year for Gilead Sciences' hep C meds, which cure the disease in about 99% of cases. The VA had been criticized for limiting availability because of the cost while presidential candidate Sen. Barrie Sanders has urged the agency to pull the patent on the drugs so cheaper generics could be substituted. AbbVie makes competing Viekira Pak. Story | More

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