Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hepatits C Cures while New Drugs Wait in the Wings

Drugs DO currently exist that can cure Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); nine fact, the drugs were developed four years ago! They have high viriologic response rates, low side effects, and can prevent cancer. However, this article describes how there are a number of barriers that are preventing the drug from actually being implemented. 
These barriers include, first of all, the INCREDIBLY high cost of these drugs; they can cost thousands of dollars, which in turn results in doctors being reluctant to actually prescribe the drugs! Doctors instead will send people who have the virus to liver specialists or delay treatment until symptoms occur even when they know that an individual is infected with Hepatitis C virus, which in turn can lead t the virus having detrimental effects upon people, worsening health, and ultimately lead to death.
This article exemplifies to me the important link between science, policy, and action: while the science to help prevent or cure a given condition might be there, a number of other additional barriers do continue to exist that limit treatment. 
I think it is simply not ok that drug companies make these drugs so expesnive; it is our moral obligaiton, in my opinion as global citizens, to not limit access to drugs that can CURE a disease and allow more people to live simply to get wealthy and make a profit. I fear, however, in the current administration that these drugs wil be less and less subsidized within the US and globally, and that people will in turn suffer. 

- Ashley Jowell

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