DOC report: About half of New Mexico inmates have hepatitis C

SANTA FE (AP) – The state Department of Corrections is asking for millions of dollars to treat the large number of inmates in New Mexico prisons who have hepatitis C.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Department of Corrections has found that about half of the state’s prison inmates have the blood-borne viral disease. The department is asking for $10 million to supplement the current year’s budget and an additional $2.4 million for the budget that begins in July.

The extra funding would go toward newer, more effective medication that also is more expensive. It would be enough to treat only a fraction of the infected inmates.

Inmates in a handful of other states have sued prison officials for failing to provide access to the newest medications.

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