Thousands of Missouri Medicaid recipients suffering from hepatitis C are now able to get life-saving medicine to cure the disease.

According to a statement from St. Louis University School of Law, three people filed a lawsuit last year that challenged a Missouri Medicaid policy that only provided new medicine, which cures hepatitis C, to the sickest people with the disease.

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Under the policy, Medicaid refused to give the medicine to people at earlier stages of the disease.

“A medication which can totally cure a disease is a rare occurrence,” said Dr. Bruce Bacon, co-director of the Saint Louis University Liver Center in the Division of Hepatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Recently, the Missouri Department of Social Services changed its policy so that everyone on Medicaid can get the new medicine.

According to the statement, drug manufacturers have been making new medicine that cures hepatitis C for several years and major health insurers have covered the drugs for anyone with the disease.

In response to the recent lawsuit, MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program, is now paying for these drugs for all its patients.