hep c

A lawsuit alleging the Missouri Department of Corrections systematically denies medical treatment to prisoners with chronic hepatitis C has taken a big leap forward after a judge certified it as a class action.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey last week ruled that the lawsuit, which was filed in December, meets all the requirements for class certification, including numerous plaintiffs and common issues of law and fact.

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 State officials say Missouri's Medicaid program will save an estimated $4.2 million in fiscal year 2016 by using a newer, cheaper drug to treat hepatitis C.