Prisoners Can’t Afford Pricey Hep C Drug Costs, But States Don’t Have Money For Treatment Either
Some say it's cruel and unusual punishment to deny prisoners medication that could treat their disease, but officials say "you can’t buy something you don’t have any money for."
The New York Times:
Hepatitis C Drugs Save Lives. Sick Prisoners May Never Find Out.
Any national campaign to eliminate hepatitis C, an insidious virus that kills tens of thousands of Americans a year, would almost certainly involve prisons. One in seven state inmates are believed to be infected, and the regimented environment of a prison has its advantages when it comes to screening and treatment.The problem is, the drugs that effectively cure the disease are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars — far more than prisons can pay. In 2015, state corrections departments were treating less than 1 percent of those inmates known to be infected, a survey found. (Alcorn, 3/15)
In related news —
The Associated Press:
Michigan Settles Lawsuit Over Hepatitis C Treatment Access
The state of Michigan has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over a policy that restricts certain hepatitis C treatments in the Medicaid program. Details of the agreement haven't been publicly disclosed, but a federal judge will get an update on March 29. Lawyers who filed the lawsuit on behalf of an Oakland County woman said the case could affect thousands of people. (White, 3/14)