Gov’t vows Hepatitis C will be “practically eradicated” in four years

From today, Hepatitis C treatment is free in Georgia., 21 Aug 2016 - 14:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia claims Hepatitis C will be virtually eliminated by 2020 thanks to the revolutionary treatment program that is treating and curing infected people in Georgia.

Ministry of Health officials are praising the success of the Hepatitis C Elimination Program, which launched last year and has already provided strong results.

This week the Government approved the 2016-2020 National Strategy on Elimination of Hepatitis C, which meant in four years' time 90 percent of patients infected with the disease will be screened and 95 percent of sufferers will receive treatment.

The cost of the whole five year, 2015-2020 strategic plan for the Hepatic C Elimination Program was $50 million. 

Of this, the state budget allocated $25 million while the remaining $25 million came from donors. 

The Government thanked its partners who helped implement the Hepatitis C Elimination Program, particularly American pharmaceutical firm Gilliard and the United States Centre for Disease Control. 

Since the program launched in April 2015, more than 7,000 people suffering from Hepatitis C received free treatment and 3,000 had completed their course of treatment. 

Ninety percent of the 3,000 were totally cured, Georgia’s Health Ministry said. 

Twenty thousand people suffering from Hepatitis C in Georgia will receive free treatment this year and potentially enjoy 100 percent recovery thanks to an offer from Gilead to provide a new medicine, Harvoni, to Georgia for free.

Typically Harvoni cost €110,000 per person for one course of treatment.

Georgia has one of the highest estimated Hepatitis C virus prevalence rates in the world, affecting 6.7 percent of the population.