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Health

Judge: Treatment Of Tennessee Inmates With Hep C Improving

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A federal judge in Nashville has ruled that Tennessee's treatment of prisoners with hepatitis C is not grossly inadequate. But he warns the state to make good on its promises to treat more patients more quickly.

In a Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw notes Tennessee has made a number of changes to improve treatment within the past few months.

Prison medical director Kenneth Williams also testified he is working to increase the number of patients considered for treatment each month from around eight to 160.

Because the drugs used to treat hepatitis C are very expensive, the Correction Department prioritizes care for the sickest patients. Crenshaw says this is not the "gold standard" of care but is a reasonable approach given limited resources.

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