Affordable Hepatitis C Medicine Can Cut Number Of New Infections

Financial Times: Global push can bring remedies within reach of all who need them
Stefan Wiktor, team leader of the WHO’s global hepatitis program, and Gottfried Hirnschall, director of WHO’s HIV department

“We are witnessing a remarkable transformation in the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). Intensive research is beginning to yield a number of new ‘direct-acting antiviral’ medicines that have shortened and simplified treatment of HCV and produced high cure rates. This offers a real possibility that we can dramatically reduce the numbers of people who die each year from liver cancer and cirrhosis because of HCV infection. … An estimated 500,000-700,000 people die each year from liver cancer and cirrhosis caused by HCV. The new treatments provide a remarkable opportunity to cut the number significantly and prevent new infections. This can only be realized if there is a global effort to make the medicines affordable and to invest in health care services in order that the medicines can reach those who need them” (7/27).