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Sickle Cell to Be Pathway for Medicaid to Address Rare Diseases

Feb. 18, 2020, 7:44 PM

Federal health officials are doubling down on improving care for the rare blood disease called sickle cell in the next year, using it to pioneer new Medicaid programs to get expensive rare disease drugs to patients, a top HHS official said.

Those programs will include different incentives to get patients the medications they need but aren’t currently taking, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir told reporters Tuesday.

With more companies ramping up production of orphan drugs—treatments for diseases that affect less than 200,000 people—the government needs a way to specialize care for rare diseases and ensure state programs offer...

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