This practice is unjust and inhumane but unfortunately, it may be legal. Additionally, there is no scientific basis for withholding hepatitis C treatment from people who use any kind of drugs. For instance, a recent study published in the Lancet found that people with recent drug use (including those who inject) had high response rates to current hepatitis C treatments. Experts who developed the HCV Guidelines state that active or recent drug use is not a contraindication to HCV treatment.
Some insurance plans in some states are better than others. You always have the right to appeal. If you live in a state that has legalized medical use of marijuana and you can provide a prescription, you can appeal on these grounds.
If your insurance company still denies treatment, contact the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable and report this. Additionally, call Help4Hep and ask them for assistance: 877 Help4Hep (877-435-7443). You may also get some tips and support at Hep’s Forums.