Hepatitis C

In a corner of Jymie Jimerson's house in the town of Sparta, in southwest Missouri, she has set up a kind of shrine. It has Native American art representing her Cherokee heritage alongside Willie Nelson albums, books and photos in remembrance of her late husband.

There's a copy of Willie's mid-'70s LP Red Headed Stranger. "When Steve was young, he had red hair and a red beard, so he always really identified with Willie's Red Headed Stranger," Jimerson says. "I try to keep it up there as a reminder of better days."

Seth Herald / for Side Effects Public Media

On a recent morning in downtown Tippecanoe County Indiana, a standing-room-only crowd showed up for a county commissioners meeting. The issue at hand? Renewing the county’s syringe exchange program.


Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Curtis Hill, has accused the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of manipulating facts in order to push a “pro-needle-exchange agenda.” He made the accusation in a statement released Tuesday.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Indiana among the states with the highest rates of hepatitis C infection, a virus that destroys the liver and leads to liver cancer. Indiana's rate is double the national average with 2 per 100,000 people affected. These people recently tested for and were diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Thousands Leave Maryland Prisons With Health Problems And No Coverage

Apr 25, 2016

Stacey McHoul left jail last summer with a history of heroin use and depression and only a few days of medicine to treat them. When the pills ran out she started thinking about hurting herself.

"Once the meds start coming out of my system, in the past, it's always caused me to relapse," she said. "I start self-medicating and trying to stop the crazy thoughts in my head."

In one of the most expensive drug ad campaigns of the year (totaling an estimated $100 million) drugmaker Gilead is pushing a hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, that is straining states' healthcare budgets around the country. As STAT reports, Harvoni's  $94,500 per person price tag has raised an outcry among state leaders whose Medicaid budgets can't handle the cost.  

Sovaldi, a relatively new hepatitis C medication, retails at about $1,000 a pill in the United States. But according to the New York Times, Sovaldi's manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has been selling it for just $10 a pill to the Egyptian government—which gives it to patients for free. 

From the story: 

Sarah Jackson had quit abusing drugs and was sober for six months before finding out she has hepatitis C. The Fort Wayne, Indiana mom says she was newly focused on starting her career and on raising her six kids. The diagnosis came as a shock.

Why Are We Not Testing More People For Hepatitis C?

Dec 1, 2015
blood transfusion
makelessnoise via Flickr

The majority of people who have Hepatitis C don't even know they have it. So why are we not testing more people for it? WHYY’s The Pulse asked New York University Medical Ethicist Art Caplan what is standing in the way.

Medicaid Denies Nearly Half Of Requests For Hepatitis C Drugs: Study

Nov 23, 2015
A cluster of hepatitis viruses, as seen through a transmission electron microscope.
CDC

People with hepatitis C who sought prescriptions for highly effective but pricey new drugs were significantly more likely to get turned down if they had Medicaid coverage than if they were insured by Medicare or private commercial policies, a recent study found.

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