Across 18 countries the price for a complete package of diagnostic tests for hepatitis C ranges from $67 to nearly ten times that amount, with many of the highest prices in the poorest countries.
Of 23 countries contributing information on hepatitis C treatment access, only eight have access to new, safer, more effective treatments. Among them prices also vary widely, from about $15,000 to about $150,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.
Worldwide, only an estimated 2.2 percent of people with chronic hepatitis C are treated each year, with treatment uptake ranging from less than 0.02 percent in Malaysia to 6.15 percent in the United States.
These are some of the findings from mapCrowd, a project launched by Médecins du Monde and Treatment Action Group with input from 23 countries, so far. Designed to connect implementers and policymakers with information, and affected populations with advocacy, the project led to an interactive site showing epidemiological data, treatment and diagnostic access and pricing information, policies responding to hepatitis C, and localized links to advocacy and government sources. It is up now in English and French, although updates are promised in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. The project also led to a report (more reports, also are promised, as this one is titled Report #1) presenting key findings on prevalence, pricing, policy and more from the data currently available on the site.
The report highlights gaps in information as well as access. For example, it shows that while the worldwide burden of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs averages roughly 7 percent, it is five times the worldwide average in Portugal and Russia and more than eight times the worldwide average in Iran and Canada. Across Latin America and Africa, however, the report notes, inadequate surveillance and data collection has yielded insufficient data on the burden of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs.
The team that put the project together hopes to change that, as well as other gaps in hepatitis responses, and is inviting volunteers who can contribute data to mapCrowd to let them know, by visiting here.