Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Free treatment for patients suffering from Hepatitis C

The Punjab Government has been launching a number of schemes and provisions around the state for people suffering from various dangerous diseases. One of these is Hepatitis C. on the final nod of the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, the state is now offering free of cost treatment for patients suffering from Hepatitis C.

This project will be implemented on all government district hospitals and the medical colleges around the state by the Health Adviser to the Punjab Government, Dr KK Talwar and the Health Secretary Vini Mahajan. Before this, the government had launched a scheme for the cancer patients in January 2014, which offered cashless treatment to patients suffering from this disease.

The cost of the free treatment for Hepatitis C, will be a huge amount for the state Exchequer as it would come around to be Rs. 1, 000 crore. Right now, no proper data has been prepared, listing the report of patients suffering from Hepatitis C. But the authorities have an exact data of blood donors who have been reporting the blood banks and from this an estimated range of people suffering from this disease has come to be around 0.5 to 3.5 percent.

As per the reports of the private doctors, the percentage of people suffering from Hepatitis C in the state has come out to be as high as 5.2 percent, which is an alarming figure for the government. With the development of technology, the treatment of Hepatitis C has now been devised to be done through oral drugs, unlike earlier days when it used to cost several lakhs and was done with injection Peg Interferon. This will help a lot of patients to get themselves treated and get rid of this life-threatening disease.

A special team of experts have devised this new technique of treatment for the disease and advised the same to the government, this team includes experts from the Department of Hepatology, and PGIMER, Chandigarh. According to them, Direct Acting Antiviral like Sofosbuvir, Ledipasvir and Declatasvir are some of the oral drugs, which can help in treating patients effectively.

The first phase of treatment that will go on for 12 weeks for Hepatitis C, which would include basic treatment and testing will cost around Rs. 35, 000. Whereas, the 5 percent patients whoa re suffering from serious adverse effects of the disease, like Cirrhosis, would require a treatment of around 24 weeks, which will cost around Rs. 70, 000 per patient.

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