Access to effective hepatitis C virus treatment is blocked by high costs, according to research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
The review article examines the current landscape of HCV, including treatment regimens.
Here are four key insights:
1. Typically, HCV treatments are priced from $83,320 to $150,000 for 84 pills in total.
2. A separate study found that the cost to produce one pill was just $1.20.
3. Many public and private insurers are not willing to cover the steep cost of these treatments, and therefore, access is limited.
4. Brian Edlin, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and author of the study, proposes that physicians and the government lead the development of a consensus process so that all stakeholders commit to removing barriers.
"Doctors, the government and the public have the power to change the situation, but they have to overcome the sense of resignation about this problem," said Dr. Edlin. "Hepatitis C treatment access can be solved in a heartbeat by decision makers at large organizations. And it needs to be solved in a heartbeat."