Hep C Patient Christine shares her Hep C treatment experience with Harvoni and how 8 weeks changed her life. Join us has we pick up on Christine’s story in part 2 today. Click here to read part 1 of Christine’s interview.
Connie: What was your viral load count prior to beginning treatment?
Christine: My viral load on first check was 795,000. It was 1,000,000 just prior to treatment.
Connie: Have you done treatment for Hep C before?
Christine: No, I’ve not had any previous treatment for Hep C.
Connie: Some patients are running into problems with insurance approval and being denied treatment and having to fight with appeals, did you run into any problem getting approved for your treatment or your care?
Christine: Yes I did. I live in England. In England, Hep C Treatment is through the NHS (National Health Services) and not personal insurance.
Because of the cost and no doubt the stigma attached, those who need to receive treatment have been capped at just 10,011 a year and those who are more unwell with cirrhosis are to be treated first. This means many people are left without treatment only to become more and more unwell. Because of the stigma attached people are afraid to speak out and so the country does not know what is happening regarding the cap on treatment. Many are from marginalized society and do not have a voice.
Connie: I know that is gut wrenching not to be able to receive the treatment you need. Many here in the U.S. as well as other countries are dealing with similar situations.
Connie: So how long was your wait before you were approved for treatment?
Christine: It was close to 9 months.
Connie: What treatment medication were you prescribed?
Connie: What date did you begin and end your treatment? How long was your treatment regimen?
Christine: My treatment with Harvoni was an 8 week course beginning September 26th and completed on November 20th. Praise God!
Connie: Can you share why Harvoni was the choice for you?
Christine: This was just what they decided to prescribe for me. Once it was prescribed, the script was in the pharmacy for me to collect twice every 2 weeks followed by a 28 day supply.
After I had begun my first supply of Harvoni the NHS in my area decided Harvoni would no longer be prescribed because of the cost. I had been put forward and prescribed the medication in a window of opportunity of about 3 weeks. That could only have been God’s provision!!
Connie: Were your treatment meds pills or injections or both? How often did you take it?
Christine: My treatment with Harvoni was one pill daily. Due to my work commitments I decided to take the medication at a time when I knew I would be home at about 8:30pm.
Connie: Did you experience any side effects? If so, what?
Christine: It was much as I had already been experiencing prior to treatment. Headache and fatigue but no worse than before treatment.
Connie: Is there anything that helped you with side effects, any medications or products, foods, etc?
Christine: I was encouraged by fellow warriors to drink plenty of pure water. I ate good healthy foods. I enjoyed being out in the fresh air walking the dogs and being thankful for the privilege of being able to do so. I occasionally had to take a pain reliever to maintain my working life and I rested when I could and didn’t feel guilty for doing so.
Connie: Thank you Christine for sharing with us today. We look forward to hearing the rest of your Harvoni experience and your treatment results.
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.