“Sell an Ox” - The Price of Cure for Hepatitis C in Two Countries

Document Type: Perspective

Authors

1 School of Public Health, Hadassah-Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Gondar University Hospital, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

3 Medical School for International Health, Ben Gurion University, Beersheva, Israel

4 Department of Public Health & Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, associated with severe liver disease and cancer, affects 70 million people worldwide. New treatments with direct-acting-antivirals offer cure for about 95% of affected individuals; however, treatment costs may be prohibitive in both the poorest and richest nations. Opting for cure may require sacrificing essential household assets. We highlight the financial dilemmas involved, drawing parallels between Ethiopia and the United States, countries where universal health coverage does not yet exist. The World Health Organization (WHO) declaration for HCV eradication by 2030 will only become reality if universal access to efficacious and affordable treatment is guaranteed for everyone.

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Main Subjects


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