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Will Prisoners Be Denied New Hepatitis C Drugs?

March 26, 2014

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Learn more about the costly advances in Hepatitis C treatment, and the ethical dilemma it now poses for eradicating the virus from infected prisoners.
Will prisoners be denied hepatitis c treatment?

By Michael Ollove, Pew/Stateline Staff Writer

March 25, 2014

If used widely, a new generation of antiviral drugs has the potential to wipe out the deadly hepatitis C virus in the United States. But the high price of the drugs might prevent their use in prisons, which house as many as one-third of those who are infected.

The drugs cost anywhere from about $65,000 to $170,000 for a single course of treatment—between three and nine times more than earlier treatments. Ronald Shansky, former medical director of the Illinois prison system and founder of the Society of Correctional Physicians, described that price as “extortionarily high, criminal.”

Fair or not, the cost of the new drugs is likely to keep them out of reach for most infected prisoners. To put the price in perspective, the average annual cost for states to house an inmate is $29,141. The minimal cost of treating a single patient with the new hepatitis C drugs is more than double that amount.

Continue reading this entire article:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/25/stateline-prisoners-hepatitis-drugs/6871187/

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HepatitisCentral.com provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at HepatitisCentral.com will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Dee

    I was unable to purchase health insurance due to being considered high risk for past two years yet I was paying for a criminal’s treatment. Thank goodness for Medicare I am now covered and can finally get treatment. I hate to think of what kind of premium I would have to pay under obamacare, now is that fair?

  • Noelle

    Iam 63..be 64 in 5 months…I discovered I had HepC in 2000 after reading an article…and was stunned to find, I had it…I have no family to speak of..,its hard to get a job…Iam looking forward to going into that good night…when its my time..Iam ready to go home. Its ironic isn’t it, that some people that deserve to live longer…die young..and people like me, seem to just keep going…

  • Noelle

    one last thought…I don’t see how anyone can get cured by these new medicine’s. I believe it just stops the disease,from any further damage ,so if your liver is in a certain state,it leaves it that way, meaning no virus,but you still have damage (depending how long you’ve had it) I mean this is my two cents…My teacher said once…”were not here to stay” even if I lived to 75 0r 80 which is 10-15 years…that’s enough already,on this plane.

  • julie

    overall a way to stop this disease altogether is responsible people and a hep c free vaccine or meds at free clinics; good luck.

  • ande12

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  • Brown Mark

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