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Treating Hepatitis C: Too Costly Not to Act

August 1, 2014
Today, The Hill published an op-ed – Treating hepatitis C: Too costly not to act – by California Healthcare Institute’s Todd Gillenwater on the value of breakthrough Hepatitis C medicines that cure the disease in the majority of patients.

As Gillenwater asserts, “New hepatitis C drugs mark a paradigm shift – from a model of somewhat iffy but costly chronic care to a model of short-term curative treatment with equal or slightly lower costs paid upfront.”

Together with the Boston Consulting Group, CHI released a report – Innovation in Hepatitis C Treatment: New Opportunities for Action – that highlights the public health impact of hepatitis C and the potential of groundbreaking new treatments to save tens of thousands of lives over the coming decades.

As stated in the report, “Using a model developed by the Center for Disease Analysis, we estimate that new hepatitis C drugs could save 30,000 lives over the next 15 years when compared to the recent standard of care. In addition, the new medicines could prevent 16,000 cases of liver cancer and resulting liver transplants – a procedure that costs more than $500,000. With just a 5 percent increase in the number of patients screened and treated with these new medicines, 27,000 additional deaths from hepatitis C could be prevented – that’s nearly 60,000 lives saved over the next 15 years.”

Read the full op-ed here, and visit the California Healthcare Institute’s web site here.

Gillenwater is president & CEO at CHI-California Healthcare Institute (CHI). CHI represents more than 275 leading biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceutical companies, and public and private academic biomedical research organizations. CHI’s mission is to advance biomedical research, investment and innovation through effective advocacy of policies to improve public health and ensure continued vitality of the life sciences sector.