Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hepatitis C (for Conundrum)

Here's a poser:

"Sovaldi, a new pill for hepatitis C, cures the liver-wasting disease in 9 of 10 patients, but treatment can cost more than $90,000"

On the other hand:

"[I]f Sovaldi didn't exist, insurers would still be paying in the mid-to-high five figures to treat the most common kind of hepatitis C ... older alternatives involve more side effects, and are less likely to provide cures"

And on the gripping hand:

"For each middle-aged person [insurers] pay to cure with Sovaldi, any financial benefits from preventing liver failure are likely to accrue to Medicare, not to them."

This really isn't about the ObamaTax: it would be a highly charged question under the old system, as well.

For perspective, according to the CDC, "[a]n estimated 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C ... In 2009, there were an estimated 16,000 acute Hepatitis C virus infections reported in the United States."

So, dear readers, what say you?

And feel free to expand on your answer in the comments.
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