-Emergency Demonstration Friday – January 13, 2017:
4pm – 5:30pm outside PA Governor Wolf’s Philly office – 200 S. Broad St.
-Mumia and all PA Prisoners with hepatitis C deserve to be treated.
TAKE ACTION: Demonstrate/ Call/ Tweet/ Email: See right & below
For the past two years, Mumia Abu-Jamal has suffered a severe case of hepatitis C. On January 3rd, federal court Judge Robert Mariani ruled that not treating prisoners infected with Hepatitis C is barbaric and unconstitutional – a violation of the 8th Amendment. He ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to treat Abu-Jamal with the Hep C cure within 21 days.
Protocols established by the PA DOC were set up to deny and delay even consideration for treatment for hepatitis C until a prisoner is near death and no longer treatable. The ruling for Mumia would extend to the 7,000 other PA prisoners with hep C.
“This is the first case in the country in which a federal court has ordered prison officials to provide an incarcerated patient with the new [hepatitis C] medications that came on the market in 2013,” Attorney Robert Boyle said in an Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) media release Jan. 3.
It is anticipated that the DOC will appeal Mariani’s ruling. They have 30 days to do so. We must not let this happen – any delay is deadly.
If the DOC does appeal, it’s expected they will focus on the high price of sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) or sofosbuvir-velpatasvir (Harvoni), the new drugs that cure hep C. The DOC claims treating up to 7,000 prisoners would cost the prison system $600 million.
However a study presented at The Liver Meeting, Nov. 11-15, 2016 in Boston put t he actual cost of producing sofosbuvir at only $62 which includes a 50% profit. The current market price in the U.S. is 1,355 times higher. ( http://tinyurl.com/zl97eu4) At the actual and justifiable price it would only cost Pennsylvania $434,000 to treat every infected prisoner, not the $600 million they’re claiming.
The cure for hepatitis C is 95% reliable with little or no side effects. Left untreated hep C can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and death. One of Gov. Tom Wolf’s first acts in office was to place a moratorium on the death sentence in Pennsylvania. To let prisoners die due to medical neglect and the failure to treat a curable disease is not just unconstitutional it’s a death sentence by another means.
In addition to coming out to Friday’s protest please take time to call or tweet the DOC (see above top right & below):
Please call DOC Secretary Wetzel
– Tell him to immediately give the Hep C cure to Mumia and all other PA prisoners with the deadly disease.
– Ask him NOT to appeal this decision.
Call: 717-728-2573 or 717-728-4109
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, International Action Center, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
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