Five-year perspective: Georgia free of Hepatitis C

From today, Hepatitis C treatment is free in Georgia., 21 Apr 2015 - 19:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

In about five years from now, Georgia will be a Hepatitis C-free country thanks to a unique treatment program that was introduced today.

Hundreds of thousands of people who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus in Georgia will receive Sofosbuvir, a new medicine for Hepatitis C, for free.

Today Georgia and Gilead, the company that produces Sofosbuvir, signed a memorandum which will see Georgia receive Sofosbuvir from its producer company for free. This will make the virus treatment affordable for everyone.

Until now Hepatitis C treatment was very expensive and many Georgians who suffered from this disease could not afford treatment.

As a result of the new program, the country will be absolutely free of the Hepatitis C virus in about five years, said Tengiz Tsertsvadze, director general of the Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Centre of Georgia.

Gilead said it chose Georgia as a model program to eliminate Hepatitis C because of four major reasons:

  • Strong political commitment; Georgian health authorities were motivated to fight against the disease.
  • Sizable health problem; Hepatitis C was a major problem for Georgia and many people were infected.
  • Health infrastructure; the public health system of Georgia was good enough to be used for the program.
  • The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had an office in Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, Georgian authorities called on people living in Georgia’s occupied regions Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) to use this opportunity and get involved in the program that would soon eliminate Hepatitis C in Georgia.