The Veterans Affairs Department will begin providing hepatitis C treatment to all veterans in its health system who have the virus, regardless of their disease stage, VA officials said Wednesday.
Having received a boost in funding from Congress late last year for the costly medications needed to cure hepatitis C, the VA is now able to treat the 174,000 veterans in its health system who have the disease, according to a VA release.
VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin said that while the cost previously was too prohibitive to treat all but the sickest patients, VA now can treat all veterans with the virus who are eligible for VA health care, either in a VA facility or through the Veterans Choice program.
“We’re honored to be able to expand treatment for veterans who are afflicted with hepatitis C,” Shulkin said. “Additionally, if veterans are currently waiting on an appointment for community care through the Choice program, they can now turn to their local VA facility for this treatment or elect to continue to receive treatment through Choice.”