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Policy: Entitlements

Michigan inmates may get costly hepatitis C drug

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new hepatitis C treatment that costs $1,000 pill is expected to be available to Michigan inmates.

The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/1xDUFwj ) the Michigan Department of Corrections 2015 budget, which takes effect Oct. 1, includes $4.4 million for the drug, which holds promise for a cure for the liver-damaging disease.

Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says pills will be "targeted to the serious cases where the traditional hepatitis C drugs have been ineffective."

Meanwhile, Michigan Department of Community Health spokeswoman Angela Minicuci says the drug is being provided on a "case by case" basis to non-inmate Medicaid patients.

Illinois and other states are restricting Sovaldi's use, according to a July 23 earnings call held by the drug's maker, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. The Food and Drug Administration approved Sovaldi in December.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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