Ireland: Hepatitis C patients to finally start life-saving treatment

Nearly all 250 sufferers expected to recover after treatment costing up to €55,000 each 

Some 250 seriously ill patients with hepatitis C are to begin receiving a life-saving new treatment after a six-month delay caused by bureaucratic red tape.

The first group of patients with advanced liver disease who have been approved will be treated at one of 10 centres across the State in the coming weeks. Virtually all are expected to be “cured” of the disease following a 12-week programme, which is costing between €45,000 and €55,000 per patient.

Last month, doctors warned that patients were dying because of the failure of the Government to roll out a national treatment programme, even after negotiations with drug companies had ended. Other patients were paying privately for the treatment because of the absence of State support.


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