The coronavirus pandemic proved that the public health response to a large-scale crisis can literally mean the difference between life and death. That lesson can now be applied to a different public health issue – hepatitis C.
The long wait is over for Illinois Medicaid patients with hepatitis C.
Direct-acting antivirals, which provide about a 90 percent cure rate, can prevent cirrhosis and liver cancer, reducing the number of liver transplants needed, and minimizing disease transmission. The initial list price of the drugs gave many insurers and health systems sticker shock, though market forces continue to drive down the price.
For many patients with an infectious disease, a cure can’t ever be more than a dream. But for Oregonians living with hepatitis C, that’s changing.
July 28 marks World Hepatitis Day, part of the World Health Organization’s effort to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030.