Health Affairs May 24, 2024
Stacie B. Dusetzina

Over the past decade, there have been major advances in treatments for diseases including curative therapies for hepatitis C and cell and gene therapies for rare and complex illnesses (for example, lymphoma, sickle cell, beta thalassemia). These drugs receive significant attention from clinicians and patients who have long waited for more effective treatments but also draw attention from the public, the media, and policy makers because of their high prices and budgetary implications for payers.

For state Medicaid programs, drugs with large budget impacts can result in access restrictions that make it especially difficult for patients to receive new and expensive medications, as states must balance their budgets each year. Several recent drug approvals offer the hope of providing a...

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