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Pennsylvania agrees to deal for inmate hepatitis C treatment

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Michael Coghlan

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s prison system is moving to settle a lawsuit by agreeing to provide an expensive prescription drug for prisoners who suffer from hepatitis C infections.

The Corrections Department and lawyers for thousands of inmates filed a proposed settlement this week of a 4-year-old federal class action lawsuit.

The deal calls for the state to provide direct-acting anti-viral drugs, giving priority to those with the most serious conditions. The department says the average per-patient treatment cost is about $20,000.

The agreement must be reviewed by prisoners who are members of the class, giving them a chance to object, before the presiding judge will decide whether to approve it.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that attacks the liver.

Under the settlement, officials hope to have every affected inmate treated by mid-2022.

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