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Michigan HCV Initiative Launched - Universal Screening & Treatment
  Effective April 1, 2021 the antiviral MAVYRET® will no longer require prior authorization. Other direct-acting antivirals will require prior authorization and will be approved only when MAVYRET® is not clinically appropriate.
Michigan 2019Hepatitis B and CAnnual Surveillance Report
Michigan taking steps to eliminate hepatitis C in state
Jul 30, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget there are other viruses to be worried about out there.
On World Hepatitis Day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday launched the We Treat Hep C Initiative toward eliminating hepatitis C in Michigan. This initiative is designed to bring down the cost of hepatitis C medication for Medicaid and the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Organizations across the globe, including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commemorate World Hepatitis Day on July 28 to raise awareness about viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis - a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E - affects millions of people worldwide, causing both acute and chronic liver disease, and can be fatal.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contaminated blood. Approximately 115,000 people in Michigan are known to have HCV, though when taking undiagnosed persons into account that number may be as high as 200,000. In recent years, direct-acting antivirals were developed to treat HCV. This oral medication can cure the disease when taken every day for two to six months. With success rates of more than 90 percent, these drugs have the potential to virtually eliminate the disease. Over the past several years, MDHHS has covered the cost of hepatitis C medications for thousands of Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries, and MDOC has covered the cost of these medications for thousands of incarcerated individuals. However, the high prices associated with these drugs have strained program budgets.
In the coming weeks, MDHHS will announce a Request for Proposals for drug manufacturers of DAAs to provide a significant discount to these programs. In return for this discount, the product will be the preferred DAA for Medicaid and MDOC, with minimal prior authorization requirements. The RFP will be posted on the State of Michigan Vendor Self Service System, found at Michigan.gov/vsslogin.
"MDHHS is committed to working with clinicians throughout the state to ensure that persons impacted by HCV can access these lifesaving medications wherever they live," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "We endeavor to achieve a future where HCV is no longer a threat to the health of Michiganders."
In addition, MDHHS has partnered with the Michigan Public Health Institute to engage stakeholders and community partners on testing, linkage to care and treatment of HCV. Testing and treatment capacity for HCV are highly dependent on engaging, training and eliminating barriers within the clinical community.
For more information, go to Michigan.gov/Hepatitis.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launches We Treat Hep C Campaign aimed at providing timely screening and treatment of Hepatitis C
CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112
LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is working to eliminate Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) as a health threat to Michiganders through the We Treat Hep C Initiative and with the release of the state plan on eliminating Hepatitis C. HCV is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Most people exposed to the virus will develop chronic HCV infection, which causes damage to the liver and can lead to serious, even life-threatening health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer. There is no vaccine for HCV, but there are medications that can cure HCV infection in eight to 12 weeks. Eliminating HCV from the blood prevents an individual from being able to transmit HCV to others.
National estimates suggest that between 1% and 2% of the population may be impacted by HCV and that as many as 50% are unaware they are carrying the virus. At least 115,000 Michiganders are known to be infected with HCV, but the number of infected persons could be as high as 200,000. HCV is easily diagnosed with a simple blood test. However, because the infection can be symptom-free for many years, persons carrying the virus are often not tested and opportunities to cure infection early are missed.
HCV is curable. There are proven clinical tools to diagnose HCV infection and medications to eradicate the virus for those who are impacted, preventing the negative health outcomes. The We Treat Hep C Initiative will help make those tools accessible to all Michiganders. Part of the We Treat Hep C initiative is to educate and inform clinicians about resources available to test and treat patients for HCV.
"It is crucial that all Michiganders receive a Hepatitis C Virus screening at least one time in their life, and more frequently if they are in an at-risk category," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "HCV is curable, and we are committed to making both testing and treatment accessible for all residents in need."
A core component of Michigan's HCV elimination strategy is to promote universal HCV testing for all adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults ages 18 and older should be tested for HCV at least once in a lifetime, and all women should be tested for HCV during each pregnancy. MDHHS encourages Michiganders to talk to their doctors about being tested.
Additionally, the We Treat Hep C Initiative aims to make treatment more accessible by removing barriers to prescribing. MDHHS has entered into an agreement with AbbVie, the manufacturer of the HCV Direct-Acting Antiviral MAVYRET ®, to make treatment available to all Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries. Starting April 1, Michigan Medicaid is removing prior authorization requirements for the preferred HCV medication, MAVYRET.
MAVYRET is an oral prescription medication used to treat adults and children ages 12 and older with chronic HCV genotypes 1-6. In most cases, the treatment regimen is three pills taken once daily for eight weeks. With the removal of prior authorization requirements on MAVYRET, Medicaid and HMP beneficiaries with HCV will be able to receive a prescription from their health care provider and start treatment immediately after receiving their diagnosis.
The success of the We Treat Hep C Initiative will be directly tied to the state's clinical community treating patients impacted by HCV. MDHHS is partnering with Wayne State University's Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center to develop curricula and trainings for interested clinicians. MDHHS is also contracting with Henry Ford Health System to maintain an HCV clinical consulting line that will help provide peer-to-peer advice to clinicians in the process of evaluating and treating their patients for HCV (313-575-0332, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or online).
Recent medical advancements in HCV treatment means that no one should have to live with or die from the disease. HCV testing and treatment is simple and We Treat Hep C aims to make treatment accessible for all Michiganders. For more information, visit the We Treat Hep C webpage.
Michigan's State Plan on Eliminating Hepatitis C

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