Hepatitis C sufferers in Spain take their case to the Supreme Courts

Photo of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Credit: Wikipedia By Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58384533

HEPATITIS C sufferers group PLAFHC, leader of demonstrations and petitions demanding new medicines against the illness reach all patients, has landed at the Spanish Supreme Courts.

The group presented its case to the Supreme Courts yesterday (February 13) against current and former Helath Ministers Alfonso Alonso and Ana Mato, claiming that they restricted access to treatments priced at more than €40,000 per patient.

The group presented cases on behalf of 39 seriously ill sufferers that failed to receive new treatments, two of whom have died.

Tens of people sporting the group’s red t-shirts gathered yesterday opposite the supreme courts chanting mottos including “They’re not deaths, they’re murders,” and carrying signs stating “Let the torture end, there is a cure for Hepatitis C.”

Those affected accuse the Health authorities of failing to help and allowing hundreds of patients to die.

The first new generation drug to fight the virus, Sofosbuvir, was approved in January 2014 by the European Medicine Agency.

Yet it failed to reach the Spanish public health system until November and there are still many patients waiting to receive theirs even though doctors have prescribed it.

 The PLAFHC intends to present another 30 cases over the next few weeks and legal representative Eva Rodriguez declared it will continue to do so until every sufferer receives treatment.

Group leader Mario Cortes announced that a Health Ministry source had said a national plan to fight hepatitis C would be ready by March 3. A committee of experts appointed by the government is preparing the plan, a draft version of which is currently being examined by experts from abroad.

Yet Cortes declared that unless the regional health authorities, which are responsible for ensuring the drugs reach the patients, do not sign the plan, it will be useless.

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