Treating 5 Percent of Hepatitis C Patients with New Drugs Would Reduce Cost, Infections: Study

Treating 5 percent of all hepatitis C patients with the latest drugs would be more effective at reducing infections and health care costs than the current approach, a new study shows.
 
The cost-benefits analysis by researchers from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and other institutions compares three treatment options to the current approach, or "baseline" scenario, which treats patients in the most advanced stages of the disease when they may need a costly liver transplant.
 
"We made a mistake with HIV by limiting access to treatment to just people who had AIDS, and we ended up with a virus that has been with us for decades," said corresponding author Dana Goldman, the Schaeffer Center director and a professor at the USC School of Pharmacy and the USC Price School of Public Policy. "We didn't initially treat HIV aggressively enough in part because the science wasn't there to justify it. With hepatitis C, we have the science. We just need to find a way to finance it."

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