Dr. Warren Ferguson to The New York Times: Treating Hepatitis C in prisons has a high cost

August 07, 2014

Warren Ferguson, MD, a correctional health expert at UMass Medical School, talked to The New York Times about the high cost of treating Hepatitis C-infected inmates with the expensive new drug Sovaldi.

“Every state is talking about this,” said Dr. Ferguson, professor and vice chair of family medicine & community health, and director of academic programs for health and criminal justice programs within the Commonwealth Medicine division.

In the Aug. 7 article, Ferguson explained that it would cost states millions more than they budget for total health care to treat every inmate who would benefit from Hepatitis C drugs.

The Health and Criminal Justice Program focuses on research, education and consulting. It manages contracts that provide health services to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ federal medical centers in Devens, Mass., and Butner, N.C., as well as its federal correctional institutions in Ray Brook, N.Y., and Berlin, N.H. The program also runs the annual Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health. The next conference is scheduled for March 19 and 20, 2015, in Boston.

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