List of Hepatitis C Drug Assistance Programs

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The game-changing hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi (sofusbuvir), came under attack in early 2014 when it was announced that the wholesale price for the 12-week course was an astonishing $84,000, or roughly $1,000 per pill. While efforts have been made by the manufacturer, Gilead Sciences to provide access to poorer countries and individuals, the high cost of the drug puts pressure even on those with good health coverage, with the out-of-pocket expenses often rising into the thousands of dollars.

The news put the spotlight once again on the high cost of drugs used to treat hepatitis in the U.S. With 3.2 million Americans infected hepatitis C (HCV) and over two million in infected with hepatitis B (HBV), the need for affordable drug access has never been greater.

Moreover, from a worldwide perspective, between four to five million people are co-infected with HCV and HIV globally (or roughly 9% o the HIV population).

Co-Pay and Patient Assistance Program (PAP) Eligibility

In the effort to ensure affordable access, the Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) has negotiated co-pay and patient assistance programs (PAPs) with most every hepatitis drug manufacturers. Both programs provide assistance to patients who meet eligibility criteria, based either on household family income or on the annually updated Federal Poverty Level (or FPL). The criteria for inclusion varies by program, with some PAPs, for example, providing access to those whose income is less than 500% of the FPL.

FPL amounts currently used for eligibility assessment are available through the Health.gov website.

While co-pay programs assist with the insurance co-payment of each individual drug, PAPs work by providing low-cost to free medications for qualified individuals. Verification of income is required, usually in the form of a federal income tax return.

A more recent development has been the establishment of the Common PAP Application, an initiative coordinated through the U.S. government to streamline the application process. The completed form will then need to be submitted to each individual pharmaceutical assistance program for processing.

DrugCompanyContactProgram TypeProgram Details
Copegus (ribavirin)Genentech/Roche888-941-3331 or visit Pegasys Access websitePAPCovers people who do not qualify for any other assistance. Eligibility is limited by income.
DaklinzaBristol-Myers Squibb844-442-6663 or ​BMS Patient Support CONNECTCo-PayCovers up to $5,000 per 28-day supply.
 Bristol-Myers Squibb800-736-0003 or the BMS Patient Assistance FoundationPAPCovers people not qualified for other assistance whose income fall below 250% of the FPL.
EpclusaGilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websiteCo-PayReduces co-pay cost to as low as $5 for qualifying patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
 Gilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websitePAPMay provide free coverage for patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
HarvoniGilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websiteCo-PayReduces co-pay cost to as low as $5 for qualifying patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
 Gilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websitePAPMay provide free coverage for patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three is less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
OlysioJanssen Therapeutics855-5-OLYSIO  or product website​Co-PayReduces co-pay to no more than $5 per month. Household income must be less than 500% of the FPL.
 Janssen Therapeutics800-652-6227 or the Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance FoundationPAPProvides free coverage of Olysio to qualified individuals whose income fall below 500% of FPL.

Pegasys (peginterferon)

Genentech/Roche888-941-3331 or visit Pegasys Access websitePAPCovers people who do not qualify for any other assistance. Eligibility is limited by income.
PegIntron (peginterferon)Merck866-939-4372 or product website​Co-PayProvides eligible patients up to $200 savings for up to 12 prescriptions.
 Merck866-363-6379 or the Merck Helps websitePAPCovers people who do not qualify for any other assistance. Eligibility is limited by income (generally a household income of less than 500% of FPL).
SovaldiGilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websiteCo-PayReduces co-pay cost to as low as $5 for qualifying patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
 Gilead Sciences855-769-7284 or the Gilead Support Path websitePAPMay provide free coverage for patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
Viekira PakAbbvie844-2PROCEED (844-277-6233) or the Abbvie ProCeed websiteCo-PayPatients may be eligible for up to 95% co-pay assistance.
 Abbvie844-2PROCEED (844-277-6233) or the Abbvie ProCeed websitePAPMay provide free coverage for patients whose household income is less than $100,000 for a family of three or less than 500% of the FPL for a family of four or more.
ZepatierMerck866-251-6013 or theMerck Access websiteCo-PayReduces co-pay cost to as low as $5 per month for qualifying patients.
 Merck866-251-6013 or theMerck Access websitePAPMay provide free coverage for patients whose household income is $59,400 or less for individuals, $80,100 or less for couples, or $121,500 or less for a family of 4 or more.

Sources:

Sanger-Katz, M. "$1,000 Hepatitis Pill Shows Why Fixing Health Costs Is So Hard." New York Times; published August 2, 2014.

Rotman, Y. and Liang, T. "Coinfection with Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Virological, Immunological, and Clinical Outcomes." Journal of Virology. August 2009; 83(15): 7366-7374.

Fix, O.; Locarnini, S.; and Peters, M. "Virology And Clinical Management of Hepatitis B And HIV Coinfection." The PRN Notebook. April 2007; volume 11.

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