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MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Governments should publicly acknowledge the importance of the hepatitis C epidemic and its significant human, economic and social costs, particularly among people who use drugs. 2. Governments must acknowledge that drug policy approaches dominated by strict law enforcement practices...
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The negative impact of the war on drugs on public health: The hidden hepatitis C epidemic

Global Commission on Drug Policy Comisión Global Sobre Políticas de Drogas

5 de mayo de 2013 (18/11/15)
Global Commission on Drug Policy Comisión Global Sobre Políticas de Drogas ver en globalcommissionondrugs.org





MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Governments should publicly acknowledge the importance of the hepatitis C epidemic and its significant human, economic and social costs, particularly among people who use drugs.

2. Governments must acknowledge that drug policy approaches dominated by strict law enforcement practices perpetuate the spread of hepatitis C (as well as HIV and other health harms). They do this by exacerbating the social marginalisation faced by people who use drugs, and by undermining their access to essential harm reduction and treatment services.

3. Governments should therefore reform existing drug policies – ending the criminalisation and mass incarceration of people who use drugs, and the forced treatment of drug dependence.

4. Governments must immediately redirect resources away from the ‘war on drugs’ and into public health approaches that maximise hepatitis C prevention and care, developed with the involvement of, the most affected communities.

5. Drug policy effectiveness should be measured by indicators that have real meaning for affected communities, such as reduced rates of HIV and hepatitis transmission and mortality, increased service coverage and access, reduced drug market violence, reduced human rights violations, and reduced incarceration.

6. Governments must remove any legal or de facto restrictions on the provision of sterile injection equipment and other harm reduction services, as well as opioid substitution therapy, in line with World Health Organisation guidance. It is critical that these services are delivered at the scale required to impact upon hepatitis C transmission – both in the community but also in prisons and other closed settings.

7. Governments should ensure that people who use drugs are not excluded from treatment programmes, by establishing national hepatitis C strategies and action plans with the input of civil society, affected communities, and actors from across the HIV, public health, social policy, drug control and criminal justice sectors.

8. Governments must improve the quality and availability of data on hepatitis C, strengthening surveillance systems and better evaluating prevention and control programmes. This will, in turn, help to raise political and public awareness of the epidemic.

9. Governments should enhance their efforts to reduce the costs of new and existing hepatitis C medicines – including through negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to ensure greater treatment access for all those in need. Governments, international bodies and civil society organisations should seek to replicate the successful reduction in HIV treatment costs around the world, including the use of patent law flexibilities to make them more accessible.

10. The Global Commission calls upon the United Nations to demonstrate the necessary leadership and commitment to promote better national responses and achieve the reforms listed above.

11. Act urgently: The ‘war on drugs’ has failed, and significant public health harms can be averted if action is taken now.

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ver en globalcommissionondrugs.org


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