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hepatitis C

Hepatitis C Cases On The Rise In Florida

May 16, 2018

The Florida Department of Health says the rate for new infections of Hepatitis C in 2016 was the highest it’s ever been in Florida. 

When a hepatitis C treatment called Harvoni was released in 2014, Dr. Ronald Cirillo knew it was big.

"It's the reason that dragged me out of retirement!" he says.

Judge Rips State Prisons Over Hepatitis Care

Nov 20, 2017

In a scathing ruling issued Friday, a federal judge found that Florida corrections officials have a “long and sordid history” of failing to treat inmates infected with the Hepatitis C virus and ordered the state to immediately come up with a plan to properly provide care.

Dr. Ronald Cirillo and his assistant at the Turning Points free clinic in Bradenton are testing another patient for hepatitis C.

Amid an ongoing lawsuit, the Florida Department of Corrections is now asking the legislature for more than $19 million in funding to treat inmates with the Hepatitis C virus.

Prison Agency Asks Judge To Reject Hepatitis Arguments

Jun 2, 2017

The Florida Department of Corrections this week asked a federal judge to reject arguments that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing “cutting edge” drugs to prisoners with hepatitis C.

Lawsuit Targets Prison System Over Hepatitis Care

May 12, 2017

Three inmates filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday alleging that the Florida Department of Corrections is failing to provide proper care to thousands of prisoners diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Florida Medicaid has spent at least $30.6 million in the past year on costly drug treatments for Hepatitis C, according to records from the Agency for Health Care Administration. 

Most of the spending was for Sovaldi, an antiviral approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December 2013. It was fast-tracked after clinical trials showed it had a high cure rate for patients in advanced stages of liver disease who were infected with the most common strain of the Hepatitis C virus.

Dr. Carol Roberts, a once-prominent advocate of alternative medicine, was reprimanded and fined $15,000 today by the Florida Board of Medicine at a meeting in Boca Raton. She had been charged with two counts of negligence in a 2009 outbreak of hepatitis C among her patients.

As many as 11 cases of the serious and incurable illness developed after a nurse at Roberts’ Tampa-area clinic reused syringes and medicine vials. The nurse, Brandy Medeiros, is now serving a five-year probation ordered by the Board of Nursing.

Roberts was charged in only two of the cases. The Department of Health said no other patients filed complaints.

Donald Mullins, a consumer member of the board, said he didn’t see it as fair to blame a doctor for what a nurse does. But all other board members disagreed.

Dr. Zach Zachariah said that as “captain of the ship,” Roberts had to take responsibility for what happened. Dr. Fred Bearison agreed: “The doctor does have responsibility to make sure policies and procedures are followed."