Health: Hepatitis C - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:21 am on 28th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health 11:21 am, 28th April 2016

My Lords, there are many people who suffer from hepatitis C who are asymptomatic and do not know that they have hepatitis C, so I do not know if the figure of 220,000 is true or not. But people with it can have treatment using the drug interferon—which is an extremely unpleasant treatment that can take up to a year and has some very horrible side effects. This new drug is, in many ways, a miracle drug. It is a fantastic drug, but it is incredibly expensive. We have to accept that, not just for hepatitis C but for many cancer treatments, there are going to be some drugs that are too expensive to spend on huge numbers of people.