Mumia Abu-Jamal Will Begin Treatment For Hepatitis C In Prison
Mumia Abu-Jamal is set to be treated for a hepatitis C infection, two years after he filed a lawsuit over his medical care. The political prisoner will begin using an expensive new drug next week, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections revealed in a federal court filing Friday (March 31).
“Defendants respectfully write to inform the Court of a development in the treatment of Plaintiff Mumia Abu-Jamal,” announced the DOC in a status report. “Following recent medical testing and a review of the results thereof, Plaintiff will be treated with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Hepatitis C [direct]-acting antiviral medication in accordance with the Hepatitis C protocol of the Department of Corrections.”
The antiviral medication is priced at around $50,000 to $60,000 per patient, according to the Associated Press. Patients are required to take one pill per day for three to six months.
In January, a judge ruled that Abu-Jamal had the right to receive the medical treatment. He sued the Pennsylvania DOC in 2015, and after being initially denied, he was subsequently moved up the priority list because his medical condition has worsened.
The 62-year-old former Black Panther Party member, activist and journalist, was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia police officer in the early 1980s. Abu-Jamal has always maintained innocence, but was sentenced to death in 1982.
After spending decades on death row, a judge overturned the sentence to life without parole in 2011.