BOSTON — A settlement has been reached between prisoners in Massachusetts and the state’s Department of Correction involving improved treatment of hepatitis C.

The class-action settlement, filed Friday in a Boston federal court, calls for more effective drugs to be used to treat prisoners who have hepatitis C.

The Boston Globe reports that once the court approves, inmates with less advanced stages of the disease would get treated within 18 months, and new prisoners could be preemptively tested.

The agreement is the result of more than two years of litigation, after inmates Emilian Paszko and Jeffrey Fowler sued the Department for denying them treatment with the most effective drugs on the market. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild says this is believed to be the first settlement of its kind.

Information from: The Boston Globe,