Hepatitis C

At present drug prices, testing all persons entering prison for Hepatitis C virus (HCV), treating those who have at least twelve months remaining in their sentence, and linking individuals with less than twelve months in their sentence to care upon their release would result in improved health outcomes.

While coming to the cost-effective, however, the data also show that these approaches would place a large cost burden on the correctional system; Outcomes published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers found that these approaches provide the best value-for-money compared to not testing or treating any prisoners, or only testing and treating prisoners at high risk of Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

In this study researchers simulated the lifetime progression of a cohort of prisoners from intake until death; projecting clinical outcomes,cost-effectiveness,and the budgetary impact.Researchers considered different levels of testing (no testing, risk-based testing, routine testing at entry or at release); whether treatment would or would not be provided in prison;and whether a patient would be linked to care upon release if he/she were not treated in prison.

Increased life expectancy for HCV-infected individuals

But some strategies like “test all, treat all, and linkage to care at release”;increased the number of people cured by 23 %;’reduced cirrhosis cases by 54 %;this study determining the strategy that is cost-effective is comparing to current practice; however, it is associated with an additional annual cost to the department of corrections of $1,440 per prisoner entering the system, a significant burden on health care budgets.

Interventions among incarcerated

This research involving approximately one third of U.S hepatitis C virus cases pass through the prison system each year; making interventions among incarcerated individuals important in reaching the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating hepatitis C virus.

Policymakers might understand the importance of controlling HCV rates in prison;but need data like this to inform;the costs and outcomes they can expect from a variety of testing and treatment strategies;Addressing hepatitis C virus in prisons will require investment from departments of corrections and public health departments;but we hope these findings demonstrate;the value of such an investment and will encourage innovations in financing hepatitis C virus;care among this population.

This study expected clinical outcomes to improve with widespread testing,treatment; and linkage to care for individuals not treated in prisons;but found it is notable that is also the strategy to most efficiently use limited health resources.By addressing hepatitis C virus in the prisons require investment from the departments of corrections.