EDITORIAL: B.C. must fund hep C drug

Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver.

It can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and, ultimately, death. Until recently, the only cure was a gruelling 47-week course of Interferon, with side effects described as worse than those caused by chemotherapy. Success rates were low. A new drug, Sovaldi, is usually taken for just 12 weeks, and it eradicates the virus in up to 90 per cent of cases.

The B.C. government faces the choice of whether to fund the admittedly expensive drug, or to deny coverage to those without the financial means or the right private health-care plan (many won’t cover the costs) to pay for it. By treating people before they need expensive hospital stays or a liver transplant, the health-care system saves money.

For that reason, we hope the B.C. government does the right thing and funds this drug.

The Now Newspaper