Copay Assistance Program Created for Hepatitis C Patients

Assistance program will provide financial assistance for FDA-approved HCV drugs.

The Assistance Fund recently announced the launch of a new Copay Assistance Program for patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The Hepatitis C Copay Assistance Program will provide financial aid for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for HCV drugs for eligible patients, according to a press release. The Assistance Fund is a patient assistance foundation that aids patients who face high out-of-pocket costs for FDA-approved prescription drugs.

To date, the FDA has approved 17 drugs for the treatment of HCV, including ribavirin, sofosbuvir plus velpatasvir (Epclusa), ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni), sofosbuvir (Sovaldi).

“The Assistance Fund is pleased to be able to provide much-needed financial support for patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C,” said Mark P. McGreevy, president of The Assistance Fund. “Treatment options for chronic Hepatitis C have evolved greatly in recent years, but many still lack access to these medications due to financial barriers. It’s critical that patients be able to receive these new treatments regardless of their ability to pay.”

Approximately 2.7 to 3.9 million individuals in the United States have HCV, many of whom do not even know they have the disease due to a lack of symptoms. As a result of the high cost of these drugs, many insurers will not cover them, and have been limiting access to only those patients with severe cirrhosis, which prevents numerous patients from receiving proper care.

Untreated HCV can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure, according to the press release. While HCV drugs have been criticized for their costs, implementing a plan to treat all patients with the disease will likely prevent billions of dollars in healthcare spending.

The creation of the new program reinforces the importance of treating patients with HCV, which will not only avoid medical costs, but also improve patient outcomes and overall health.

The Assistance Fund currently offers financial assistance to patients with more than 30 different diseases, including breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, melanoma, rheumatoid arthritis. To date, the foundation has helped more than 43,000 individuals receive proper treatment, according to the press release.

“At The Assistance Fund, our focus is ensuring that patients who have been prescribed Hepatitis C treatments by their medical teams do not face a financial barrier to access,” said Gerald Lauria, vice president of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at The Assistance Fund. “The Hepatitis C Copay Assistance Program will provide crucial support to patients who may otherwise struggle to afford treatment.”