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Schering-Plough will provide hepatitis C treatment to ADAP enrollees (15440)

15440Health News2005-03-17

Schering-Plough will provide hepatitis C treatment to ADAP enrollees

Drugmaker Schering-Plough has announced a new program that will provide 1,500 people enrolled in state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs with a free full course of its experimental combination hepatitis C treatment Peg-Intron and Rebetol. The initiative, called "Commitment to Community," provides HIV-HCV coinfected ADAP clients with Peg-Intron powder for injection and Rebetol capsules to treat hepatitis C and prevent hepatitis-related liver damage and liver cancer. Hepatitis C is emerging as a leading killer of HIV-positive people, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 25% of all HIV-positive Americans are also coinfected with HCV. As many as 90% of HIV-positive injection drug users also carry HCV, according to the CDC.

"With current ADAP funding falling far short of meeting the demand of patients in need, this initiative with Schering-Plough is a creative solution that will yield significant savings to a system in crisis and help bring measurable relief to ADAP programs nationwide," said Julie Scofield, executive director of the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. "Providing treatment for hepatitis C treatment through ADAPs adds an additional financial burden for many state ADAPs. NASTAD's ADAP Crisis Task Force worked collaboratively with Schering-Plough to create this unique program so that we can now provide ADAP patients access to hepatitis C therapy."

The program will be administered through Schering-Plough's larger patient assistance program that provides medications to low-income Americans who can't get access to a variety of medical treatments. In addition to access to free medicine, hepatitis C patients covered by ADAP will have access to Schering-Plough's free, personalized patient support program, "Be in Charge," which offers round-the-clock toll-free telephone access to a nurse counselor and other educational tools to help patients cope with the physical and emotional impact of hepatitis C, as well as the rigors of treatment. The support program can be reached by calling (888) 437-2608 or on the Internet at For more information about Schering-Plough's patient assistance program call (800) 521-7157.

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