NGOs state that people with HIV are deprived of treatment for hepatitis C

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Russians with HIV are often deprived of free treatment for hepatitis C, representatives of several specialized NGOs said in a letter to Elena Astapenko, Director of the  Department for the Regulation of Medicinal Products and Medical Device Circulation of the Ministry of Health of Russia, and Elena Maksimkina, Director General of the Federal Center for Planning and Organization of Medical Support.

The letter was signed by representatives of NGOs from different regions of the Russian Federation: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk, Kaluga, Omsk and Oryol regions. It is explained that the required drugs have not been procured in sufficient quantities, but the Ministry of Health responds that the situation is under control.

According to the authors of the letter, problems were observed back in 2022, when by the middle of the year auctions for the procurement of drugs provided only 44% of the drugs necessary for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis/ In 2023, the situation with medical support became worse. This concerns more than 300,000 Russians in need (hepatitis C virus was detected in 30% of people living with HIV).

“No long-term contracts have been announced in 2023 to cater for the needs of patients infected with the second and third genotype of the virus, who make up about half of HCV patients in Russia,” the statement says.

In conclusion, its authors ask Astapenko and Maksimkina to give the necessary orders that would guarantee the provision of hepatitis C therapy to HIV patients, as well as to provide information on the timing and volume of procurement of such drugs.

In March 2023, hepatitis C was included in the list of diseases for which the Circle of Kindness provides support, despite the fact that the disease is not classified as incurable or rare. The Foundation believes that this solution will eliminate chronic viral hepatitis C in children.