Overview of Comprehensive Hepatitis C Virus Medication Management in a State Medicaid Program

UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine, Clinical Pharmacy Services; Commonwealth Medicine, Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Pharmacy Administration, Policy and Regulation | Virus Diseases


BACKGROUND: Breakthrough direct-acting antivirals set a new standard in the management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with regard to cure rates and improved tolerability; however, the health care system is challenged by the cost of these medications.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of a comprehensive HCV medication management program on optimized regimen use, prior authorization (PA) modifications, and medication cost avoidance in a state Medicaid program.

METHODS: This program consists of a 2-tiered prescriber outreach: (1) regimen outreach to promote optimized regimen selection and (2) refill outreach to support medication adherence. PA criteria were developed to identify optimized regimens, taking into account member- and virus-specific factors as well as cost. Prescriber outreach was conducted to recommend the use of an optimized regimen as applicable. Successful regimen outreach was defined as the number of members for whom a recommendation was accepted. A refill report identified members without a subsequent paid HCV medication claim within 25 days of the previous claim and outreach to the prescriber's office was performed. The outcome measure for refill outreach was the number and type of PA modifications made secondary to outreach (closure or extension). Cost avoidance was calculated for members who completed treatment with an optimized regimen. Return on investment (ROI) was calculated for the program.

RESULTS: Between December 18, 2013, and January 31, 2015, 911 members had PA requests approved for simeprevir, sofosbuvir, or ledipasvir/ sofosbuvir. Of these members, 223 (24.5%) met the criteria for regimen outreach. Pharmacist interventions to treat with an optimized regimen were accepted for 135 members (60.5%). Following implementation of prescriber outreach to promote refills, between March 10, 2014, and January 31, 2015, offices were informed of an upcoming refill for 515 members. As a result of outreach, 19.6% of members had a subsequent PA modification. Sixty-nine approved PAs (for 68 members) were closed after correspondence with the prescriber, and 33 approved PAs (for 33 members) were extended. The total projected cost avoidance was $3,770,097. The comprehensive HCV medication management program demonstrated an ROI of $10.28 for every $1 spent.

CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive HCV medication management program can help contain costs while ensuring that members have access to most clinically appropriate regimens.


Hepatitis C Medication Management, Medicaid, Pharmacy

DOI of Published Version



J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016 Oct;22(10):1161-6. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2016.22.10.1161. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of managed care and specialty pharmacy

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID