Study recommends expensive drug to treat hepatitis C in prison population

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, evaluated treatment regimens for hepatitis C infections in incarcerated populations.  In particular, the researchers looked at therapies involving Sofosbuvir.  They found that there was a large improvement in health status, particularly with respect to decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

According to the study, for each additional life year (adjusted for quality of life), the cost was up to $28,800.  The annual cost went down for longer sentences.  The authors argue that this makes the treatment regimens cost-effective, but question whether it is affordable.  Also, the study lacks information about the cost savings from avoiding treating complications, reinfection, and infections spread to others.

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