MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota inmates with chronic hepatitis C infections have gained access to pricey antiviral drugs following a class-action lawsuit settlement.
The Star Tribune reports that five inmates sued the Minnesota Department of Corrections in 2015, accusing the agency of withholding medication that has a 95 percent cure rate. The drugs range in price from $26,400 to more than $100,000 per patient.
The state agency has argued that providing the drug would overwhelm the state’s corrections budget.
Under the settlement terms that won preliminary approval Monday, the department is required to screen all inmates for hepatitis C. The department must provide the antiviral drugs to an inmate with an advanced stage of the disease, or those who have both hepatitis C and other health complications.
The litigation follows similar calls for the treatment in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma
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