I apologise that my last few posts have been rather negative, perhaps tinged with anger, because of my frustration with the greed and corruption in the international pharmaceutical industry and the suffering this causes.
However I try to never forget that there is also much good happening and many good people trying hard to change things.
I am a member of the Facebook group Hepatitis C Treatment w/o Boarders and every day there are posts from people who have been cured by generic Hep C meds.
Today I read this great post from a person in the USA who was recently cleared of Hep C. It is worth sharing, though please note I have changed a couple of details so that the person’s privacy and identity are protected.
There are a few good things in this story. A good doctor, a cure and news that the easy access to generic Hep C treatment is putting downward pressure on Gilead’s prices and forcing them to do deals with the health insurance companies.
I saw my liver specialist today. He practices at the Liver Department of a big hospital in San Francisco. He’s a nice guy, and when I told him a couple of months ago that I was going to treat with generic Harvoni from India he agreed to monitor me.
Today I brought him the empty cardboard packet of Hepcinat LP so he could see what I had taken. I gave it to him to keep. He was thrilled to receive it. Better than a Christmas present it seemed. He couldn’t wait to show it to his colleagues in the department.
He told me how shocking the amount of money Gilead is making is, and that even if they appear to make ’deals’ with the insurers, the costs still get passed along to us insured in the form of higher premiums.
I told him I had a few friends die from Hep C, and he told me he had seen hundreds of people die from it. In his profession that must be so. It must have made him sad and then angry that he couldn’t help more of his patients when the drugs became available.
I pointed him to the Fixhepc website and told him to Goggle Greg Jefferys
I guess the biggest shock of the day for me was that it sounds as if insurance companies may now be willing to pay for the drugs in the US for more Hep C patients. Perhaps this is in the pipeline.
I paid $900 for the generic Harvoni and at 4 weeks was undetected. I’m going on to do 12 weeks (though initially the doc said to do 8), but he said if I have the meds anyway doing 12 would increase my chances of being cured. And good news, because I have very very little damage to my liver I can have a glass of wine every now and then with my dinner even while on treatment. Yummy!
I feel very fortunate in many ways. Not knowing I was ill when there was no cure. Only finding out when there was a cure, not having much liver damage, and getting the treatment. I suppose however looking back on it I was pretty exhausted for many years, but attributed it to my work, and then caring for my 90 year old mom till she passed away. Don’t know if I’ll have more energy or not in the future, but at least I will not have Hep C