Hep C treatment Viekira Pak helped bring the cure to Hep C patient Denise. Hep C patient Denise who was originally denied treatment because she was deemed “not sick enough” reapplied and got approval for Viekira Pak. Hep C patient Denise shares her story in an interview this week with Life Beyond Hep C.
Connie: Denise, Thank you so much for being with us this week and sharing your inspiring story. Your story is full of hope and perseverance in striving to get beyond Hep C. Let’s get started.
Connie: How did you find out you had Hep C? I’m not asking how you got Hep C, only how did you find out, example, was it from when you gave blood, or at a doctor’s appointment, etc…?
Denise: It was in October 2015 during a doctor’s appointment.
Connie: Did you have symptoms prior to your diagnosis?
Denise: No, I didn’t have any symptoms.
Connie: What genotype (virus strain) do you have?
Denise: I have genotype 1.
Connie: Did you ever have a liver biopsy?
Denise: No, I never had to.
Connie: What stage were you diagnosed with prior to starting treatment?
Denise: My doctor said I could have had Hepatitis C for years. So, I guess I was in the first stage.
Connie: If you don’t mind sharing this: Did you talk to your family, friends, co-workers, or employer about your Hep C diagnosis or your treatment?
Denise: I’m an only child, so at first I didn’t tell my Mom. My Mom is 92 and in her right mind, but I knew she would worry. But I did talk to my daughter and her Dad. We’re a very close family. We just work life as it comes.
Connie: Have you done treatment for Hep C before?
Denise: No, this was my first time.
Connie: Some patients are running into problems with insurance approval and being denied treatment, having to fight with appeals, did you run into any problem getting approved for treatment?
Denise: Yes, I dealt with denials but did not give up. My doctor submitted the request to my insurance company for treatment with Harvoni in Feb. of 2016 but it was denied.
Then my doctor submitted a second request, this time for Zepatier, but I was denied this treatment due to I didn’t have a high fibrosis score of F3 or more. In March of 2016 we applied to the Merck Patient Assistant program but I was denied due to I made to much money. This program is meant for people who don’t have prescription drug coverage, or if their income doesn’t meet the guidelines.
In April and May every company we tried I was denied because I didn’t meet the criteria. Each time I knew the Lord would fix this crazy madness. I prayed and just kept moving forward.
Finally by August 2016 I got information and approval for Viekira Pak. A nurse calls to let you know when your meds come by FedEx. Also, this nurse checks on you. This is a great company.
Connie: Which Hep C Treatment medication did you use?
Denise: I used Viekira Pak.
Connie: What date did you begin and end your Hep C treatment?
Denise: I began treatment on September 12, 2016 until January 5, 2017.
Connie: Was your treatment pills, injections, or both? How often did you take it?
Denise: Viekara Pak is pills only. You take 2 pills in the AM, then one at night at the same time every day.
Connie: Can you share with us why Viekara Pak was the choice for you?
Denise: The insurance company approved Viekira Pak after all the denials for other treatment requests. So many times they told me I wasn’t sick enough. Working in health care prevention of an illness is key. The first letter I got from the insurance company said I was not getting the medication because I was not sick enough. People this is going to test your nerves. Just pray and believe in your heart your Father God has your back.
Connie: Thank you for sharing today Denise. You have a very inspiring story of perseverance and how God has worked in mighty way. We look forward to hearing the rest of your treatment experience tomorrow.
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.