With prisoners left out, state’s work on hepatitis C drug access is far from over

Letter to the Editor by PLS Staff Attorney Joel Thompson
Boston Globe
August 6, 2016

MASSACHUSETTS’ DECISION to lift restrictions on hepatitis C treatment for MassHealth patients is laudable (“Wider access to hep C drugs is humane and pragmatic,” Editorial, July 29), but those and other restrictions remain in place for the more than 1,500 state prisoners with hepatitis C, for whom the state is also responsible. This is despite the high prevalence — more than 15 percent — of hepatitis C among prisoners.

Eliminating hepatitis C altogether is a worthy goal, but that work cannot even begin until restrictions are lifted on the treatment of Massachusetts prisoners, more than 95 percent of whom will one day return to their communities.

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