North Carolina is teaming with the federal government to strengthen access to new sickle cell disease therapies. 

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are touting participation in a federal program that focuses on increasing access to recently approved gene therapies for people on Medicaid living with sickle cell disease.  

The Cell and Gene Therapy Access Model provides a framework for lowering the price states pay for treatments while tying payments to outcomes.

NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley says the federal partnership offers a unique path for addressing health disparities for those he says have been ignored for too long.

The state has updated an informational document on treating sickle cell following federal approval of two new gene therapies.  

Both treatments require multiple steps at what many consider to be prohibitive costs.

Officials say that the state’s participation in the new model will help lower health care costs while also benefiting taxpayers.

Approximately 6,800 people in North Carolina have sickle cell disease, and nearly 95% are Black or African American.

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