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ISG appeals to govt to offer free treatment for Hepatitis C

Press Trust of India  |  Coimbatore 

Indian Society for Gastroenterology (ISG) today appealed to the government to come forward and offer free treatment to the killer Hepatitis C, leading to liver cancer, as the medicine was not affordable to common people.

Talking to reporters here, Prof Dr Shiva Kumar Sarin, Former Chair, Medical Council of India, said as there was no cure for this type of cancer, USA had recently come out with an oral medicine, with 90 to 95 per cent efficacy, and the cost of which ranged from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 60 lakh.

The affected person has to take one tablet daily, costing USD 900 to 1,000 for three to six months.

Though the biggest breakthrough in recent medical history, the medicine was not at all affordable to common man, and considering this, the government has to come forward to provide free treatment to Hepatitis C, as was done in the case of HIV and TB, Sarin said.

Hepatitis C claims 300 times lives than HIV, he said quoting a recent survey that there were 1.5 crore persons affected with Hepatitis C, of which only a very few were diagnosed.

Dr V G Mohan Prasad, President, ISG, said that the society would make a representation to the government, through signature campaign on the need for affordable treatment and also the free screening on Hepatitis B and C virus, so that awareness can be created among the public for periodical blood check up.

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First Published: Sat, June 28 2014. 17:33 IST