At The Crossroads: The Rise Of Hepatitis C And The Fight To Stop It

A new series from Rhode Island Public Radio.

About the series:
Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, though most of them don’t know it. But deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise in baby boomers. And throughout New England, new infections are creeping up among a younger generation. Less than a year ago, their only options for treatment were complicated regimens of injections that didn’t always lead to a cure. But brand new drugs could change everything. That is, if the cost doesn’t break us.

Acknowledgments
This series was produced by Kristin Gourlay, and edited by Catherine Welch, as a project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Support for health care reporting on Rhode Island Public Radio also comes from the Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island's only community foundation.

Jake Harper produced the infographics for "At the Crossroads."

Hepatitis C Resources

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

State Medicaid programs – including Rhode Island – fail to provide enough access to cures for hepatitis C. That’s the conclusion of a new report from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. The authors say restricting treatment is illegal.

Forum: Seizing the Moment to End HepC

Oct 31, 2016
FORUM Seizing the Moment to End HepC
Aaron Read

Seizing the Moment to End Hepatitis C:
A Discussion with Experts and Advocates

WATCH THE ARCHIVED VIDEO WEBCAST HERE

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island

Aug 16, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island. (Note: Your Weekly Briefing will be on vacation next week.)

New Report Finds Hep C Epidemic In Rhode Island

Aug 11, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For the first time, Rhode Island has one of the most complete pictures of the extent of the hepatitis C epidemic. More people are infected, and more are dying from the viral disease than previously known, finds a new study. But  more people are also getting treated – and cured.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island

Aug 9, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island.

  • Eliminate Hep C in RI? Brown researchers project more treatment could reduce hepatitis C by 90% in Rhode Island by 2030.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island

Aug 2, 2016

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island:

RI Medicaid To Revisit Hepatitis C Drug Access Policy

May 4, 2016
Gilead Sciences

Rhode Island Medicaid is revisiting its policy for determining who receives pricey hepatitis C drugs. Current policy limits who gets treated and when, but those restrictions could be loosened.

Second State Sued Over Hepatitis C Medication Access

Feb 19, 2016
From the Annals of Internal Medicine article: Restrictions for Medicaid Reimbursement of Sofosbuvir for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States / Authors: Soumitri Barua; Robert Greenwald, JD; Jason Grebely, PhD; Gregory J. Dore, MBBS, PhD; Tracy Swan; and Lynn E. Taylor, MD

Medicaid patients in Washington state (a similar suit is underway in Indiana) have sued the state's Medicaid agency claiming they were denied treatment for hepatitis C because of the high cost of the drugs. Litigation director Kevin Costello with the Harvard Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation says his organization has joined the lawsuit.

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