Illinois prison inmates will now be able to get a new and effective -- but incredibly costly -- drug for hepatitis C.
The Herald-Review reported on Friday that the state Department of Corrections has approved the use of Sovaldi for hepatitis C. The medication has a cure rate of 95 percent.
The drug costs at least $1,000 per day.
Corrections officials estimate that as many as 3,750 prisoners in the state have hepatitis C, a life-threatening blood-borne infection that's linked to tainted needles. Chronic hepatitis C, often called a "silent disease," causes cirrhosis and often requires a liver transplant. Illinois routinely screens inmates for hepatitis C when they are admitted to prison, unless they refuse.