Lifesaving Drugs

Background: Since 1979, mortality from hepatocellular cancer (HCC) has doubled in the United States (US). Lifesaving drugs, prohibitively expensive for some, were approved and marketed to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major risk factor for HCC, beginning in 1997. After the prior introduction of other lifesaving innovations, including active retroviral drug therapy for human immunodeficiency virus and surfactant for respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn, racial inequalities in their mortalities increased in the US.