The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 185 million people, or 3 percent of the world’s population, are infected with the hepatitis C virus. Though it is curable, the vast majority of people living with hepatitis C reside in low- and middle-income countries where treatment is virtually inaccessible.
The main medicine used in the current standard of care—Pegylated Interferon-alfa (Peg-IFN)—can cost as much as $18,000 USD in these countries for a 48-week course of treatment. For those who cannot afford it, this price tag may mean death.
In this new report, Hepatitis C Treatment: Price, Profits, and Barriers to Access, we examine the difference in price of a 48-week course of hepatitis C treatment in low- and middle-income countries, and detail breakthroughs that have been made in countries like Egypt and Thailand to negotiate lower prices and increase access to this lifesaving medicine.