Appeals court upholds rationing of hepatitis C treatment

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Corrections can deny a life-saving but expensive hepatitis C medication to inmates.

The Courier-Journal reports a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Kentucky’s policy of rationing the drugs in a 2-1 decision last week.

The dissenting judge says the majority’s opinion will condemn hundreds of prisoners to long-term organ damage and suffering.

An attorney for the inmates calls the decision “horrendous” and says they will ask for a rehearing with the full court or petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

As of August 2019, HCV-positive prisoners in Kentucky numbered 1,670. Only 159 had received any treatment.

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