At the 24th Annual Wharton Health Care Business Conference, Dr. David J. Shulkin, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, announced that the VA was on track to eliminate hepatits C infections in the next 12 months for those who are willing and able to be treated. In October 2014, the VA had over 146,000 veterans afflicted with hepatitis C. By next October, this number will be only 20,000.
How did this happen? Here’s the VA’s response as contained in their 2018 Budget in Brief:
If you quickly do the math, 59,200 U.S veterans will be cured of hepatitis C for roughly $25,300/soldier. That’s remarkable and a far cry from the concerns being raised less than four years ago.
This is a great story. Thanks to the VA’s commitment as well as the innovation on the part the manufacturers, a major health issue for our veterans will be eliminated. Hopefully, the press will be motivated to cover this story as diligently as they did in 2014.