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How much can hepatitis C drugs cost?

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Today’s hepatitis C virus treatments are a game changer. Oral direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), which were introduced in 2011, are effective, work in a few weeks or months, and have no major side effects.

But they come at a price --a steep one.

A 2018 study found that a single pill of one hepatitis C drug cost $1,000. The total was $84,000 for its 12-week course of treatment. Another drug cost $23,600 per month. That's for treatment that could take 6 months to a year.

Of course, you won't pay that full amount if health insurance covers your prescription. But DAAs aren't always covered by insurance. And your co-pays could be hefty.

Whether or not you're insured, you may be able to get help to lower your out-of-pocket expenses.

Some drug companies, states, pharmacies, and nonprofit groups offer assistance programs. Drug discount cards may help, too. Clinical trials -- studies that test new drugs to see whether they're safe and effective -- are another possibility.

SOURCES:  

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal : "Why We Should Be Willing to Pay for Hepatitis C Treatment."

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases: "HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C."

American Liver Foundation: "Drug Discount Card," "Financial Assistance Resources," "Support for Patients with Hepatitis C."

The Hepatitis C Association: "Help4Hep."

Hepatitis Foundation International: "Hepatitis Foundation International Health Savings Card," "National and International Resources for the Best in Hepatitis Information and Support."

Life Beyond Hepatitis C: "Patient Assistance Programs for Treatment & Healthcare."

PAN Foundation: "Hepatitis C."

Journal of Health and Biomedical Law : "Drug Pricing & Challenges to Hepatitis C Treatment Access."

Consumer Reports: "The Shocking Rise of Prescription Drug Prices."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 26, 2020

SOURCES:  

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal : "Why We Should Be Willing to Pay for Hepatitis C Treatment."

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases: "HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C."

American Liver Foundation: "Drug Discount Card," "Financial Assistance Resources," "Support for Patients with Hepatitis C."

The Hepatitis C Association: "Help4Hep."

Hepatitis Foundation International: "Hepatitis Foundation International Health Savings Card," "National and International Resources for the Best in Hepatitis Information and Support."

Life Beyond Hepatitis C: "Patient Assistance Programs for Treatment & Healthcare."

PAN Foundation: "Hepatitis C."

Journal of Health and Biomedical Law : "Drug Pricing & Challenges to Hepatitis C Treatment Access."

Consumer Reports: "The Shocking Rise of Prescription Drug Prices."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 26, 2020

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How can you get help to pay for hepatitis C medications?

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