January 16, 2015 5:13 PM

Hepatitis C drug’s high cost hits California budget

Last year, after the Food and Drug Administration approved a breakthrough new drug for hepatitis C, health officials around the country warned of dire consequences for state budgets. In California last week, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration quantified the impact: Tucked inside Brown’s annual spending plan was $300 million for the cost of new hepatitis C drugs, including Sovaldi, the drug approved in December 2013. The single budget item – $100 million this fiscal year and $200 million in 2015-16 – eclipses proposed general fund spending on state parks or on emergency drought response next year.

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