Hepatitis C patients who use drugs need multidisciplinary treatment: B.C. study

Treating patients with hepatitis C who inject illegal drugs using only medication is ineffective without also addressing the complex social issues they face, finds a new study from the University of Victoria.

Although new hepatitis C drugs can cure the liver-wasting disease in most patients, new research suggests the treatment does little to help patients who inject drugs, some of society’s most vulnerable citizens who are also the most challenging to help.

“There’s quite a bit of attention to medical advances (in hepatitis C treatment), but it doesn’t really impact the people most affected (by hepatitis C),” said Bruce Wallace, co-author of the study and an assistant professor at UVic’s School of Social Work. “People are being excluded from access to treatment and it is the people who need it the most.

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