Rural docs want looser rules for Hepatitis C treatment

INDIANAPOLIS – The only doctor at the center of an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana cannot prescribe the latest treatments for patients also infected with the deadly Hepatitis C virus.

Dr. William Cooke, a family practitioner in Scott County, is treating dozens of people with HIV, the AIDS-causing virus that exploded in numbers among intravenous drug users earlier this year.

But state Medicaid rules forbid him from prescribing new treatments to those same patients with Hepatitis C, the blood-borne disease that causes inflammation in the liver and now claims more lives than HIV in the United States.


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