Improving Patient Access to Hepatitis C Cures

As many as 5 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, a virus that is slowly wreaking havoc on their livers and may eventually kill them. Breakthrough medications that cure the disease are now available, but they come with a high price tag and are unaffordable for many. Complex insurance and governmental program requirements effectively ration the drugs—a move that states, employers, and insurers argue is necessary because they simply cannot afford the medications for everyone who needs them. Yet this practice may require some patients to suffer unnecessarily, while their physicians know that they could be cured with these new medications.

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