Although the incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Russia is extremely high, posing one of the biggest threats to the national public health, access to treatment of hepatitis C in the country remains limited.
On the one hand, the government acknowledges hepatitis C as a socially significant disease and commits to providing free treatment for those in need, but on the other hand, treatment programs receive minimal funding at the federal and local levels, and the country does not even attempt to lobby for reduced prices for medications.
In the absence of a special governmental treatment program, patients have to pay for their treatment, although not many people can actually afford a full course that significantly exceeds an average salary.
Despite the urgency of the problem, Russia has yet to conduct a systematic research that would assess hepatitis C prevalence, treatment needs, availability of medications, legal provisions and the level of access to HCV treatment. Such research is needed if the country wants to harmonize its approaches to achieve exponential growth of access to hepatitis C treatment and optimize its advocacy priorities.
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