Australia: What Price a Life? Hepatitis C drug out of reach for millions

More than a decade after the first victories in the battle for affordable HIV drugs, the gulf between the priorities of large pharmaceutical companies and those of governments, affected communities and the general public is again highlighted.

The new treatments for hepatitis C should herald a revolution; a deadly disease can now be cured quickly and painlessly for a few hundred dollars. But unless affordable treatments are made universally available, millions of people in urgent need will be left behind.

Nobody who recognises the human cost of hepatitis C could question the value of these new drugs. But even in wealthy countries such as Australia, we are being forced to question their price tags.

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