Few U.S. Patients with Hepatitis C Get Timely Treatment, CDC Says
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 95% of patients with hepatitis C are cured when antiviral drugs are administered in a timely manner. However, treatment rates were lowest in patients with state-administered health plans. The study of over 47,000 adults diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2019 and 2020 revealed that just 23% of Medicaid recipients, 28% of Medicare recipients, and 35% of patients with private insurance were given these drugs within a year of their diagnosis. Additionally, treatment rates were low in states with Medicaid restrictions and for non-white patients. "Everyone with hepatitis C should have access to lifesaving treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, age or insurance status," said Debra Houry, acting principal deputy director of the CDC. "This is critical to stop preventable deaths and prevent new infections."
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