Brazil’s Response to the Hepatitis C Epidemic

By Elize Massard

A doctor prepares her notes in Pernambuco, Brazil. (Photo by Pan American Health Organization).

Approximately 700,000 people worldwide, die every year from complications of hepatitis C (HCV virus). In 2017, the World Health Organization proposed a plan to eliminate HCV as a public health emergency by 2030. This is possible thanks to new direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs), which are innovative medicines that allows for cure rates exceeding 90% and with fewer side effects than older HCV treatments.

However, the price of these drugs is prohibitive in many countries, requiring creative strategies to guarantee adequate access. Brazil is at the forefront of responding to the hepatitis epidemic. In a recent article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, we discuss the country’s strategy of combining evidence-based treatment protocols with innovative initiatives for local production of generic DAAs in a context of conflicts over pharmaceutical patents.

Download a PDF of the full article here.

This article originally appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine on February 14th, 2019.

ELIZE MASSARD is a visiting fellow at the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley. Elize holds a PhD in social policy from the University of Edinburgh and is an assistant professor of public administration at the São Paulo Business School (FGV). She is currently working on the emergence and consolidation of an ambitious set of policies to align health commitments with pharmaceutical industrial development in Brazil, and the political economy of pharmaceutical regulation in Latin America. Her research is geared toward impact in Latin America, namely the improvement of governments’ institutional capacity and health policies. She has acted as a technical consultant for several United Nations agencies on monitoring and evaluation of social protection projects.






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