Saturday, October 29, 2016

More Accessible Hepatitis C Medicines Impact Lives of Millions Worldwide

The World Health Organization released an article on October 27th, 2016 stating that over one millions people who are diagnosed with Hepatitis C in under-developed or developing nations have received effective medicines that possess a cure rate of ~95%. There was initially a fear of the medicine being too expensive for patients in developing/under-developed nations; however, with the partnership of global organizations and the World Health Organizations nations such as Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines (and many others) were able to afford the medicine. Other methods of reducing the cost of medicine include provisions in licensing agreements and local production.

According to Dr. Gotfried Hirnschall, the Director of the WHO HIV and Global Hepatitis Programme, reducing the costs of these medicines is crucial in addressing the health needs of patients living in low and middle-income nations who are impacted by Hepatitis C, a disease that leads to more than 700,000 fatalities as year. Although developing nations may be paying less for the medications, middle-income countries are paying an enormous price for the medications, leading to a great cost disparity (e.g. $9,400 in Brazil vs. $79,900 in Romania).

Dr. Hirschall states that another effort to decrease the number of Hepatitis C patients is the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, which aims to eliminate Hepatitis C as a public health threat in 194 countries by 2030. One step in reaching this goal will be more affordable costs for Hepatitis C medicines and effective distribution of medications to infected patients. Through this new initiative, more than 80% of Hepatitis C patients are predicted to be treated.

Check out the article here:

~Michelle Bach (Humans and Viruses 2016-2017)

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