Hepatitis C is not a new chronic illness, but many people fail to realize how grave the illness is; on some levels, hepatitis C can be compared to HIV in terms of how serious this illness is. There are some interesting and somewhat shocking statistics you may not know about hepatitis C.
- An estimated 3.2 million Americans have hepatitis C
- More people die from hepatitis C per year than they do from HIV
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 16,000 people die each year due to hepatitis C
- Out of every 100 people infected with hepatitis C, 75 – 85 will go on to develop chronic infection
However, hepatitis C treatments and therapies have advanced in a substantial and consistent nature. In 2013, Gilead announced FDA approved Sovaldi, which brings ‘cure level’ therapy treatments of hepatitis C when used with other medicines in a few as 12 weeks.
“While exponentially simpler than more complicated ’cocktails‘ of pharmaceutical treatment, drugs like Sovaldi still require excellence adherence to therapy protocols in order to maximize their benefit and justify the high price tag for both patients and insurers. For the moment, most commercial and government insurers are covering these advanced therapies with proven ability to achieve cure rates for those suffering from HCV. More needs to be done to ensure these new therapies continue to be within reach of those who need them before the disease leads to liver failure and the need for a transplant.”
What more can be done to provide easier access to these hepatitis C treatments?
- Increase patient adherence to therapy practices
- Increase the coverage of these therapies by commercial and government insurers
- Implement a less burdensome Prior Authorization process
- Provide more access to co-pay assistance programs tailored to hepatitis C treatments
To read more information on education and therapy advances for hepatitis C treatment, visit HEP Magazine.
To learn more about Curant’s C The Cure program designed to improve hep c cure rates, click here.