A couple of nights ago I received a press release from MSF (Doctors Without Borders) stating that they had access to Hepatitis C treatment DAAs (Direct Acting Antivirals) for the price of US$120 for a 12 week treatment, the same DAA treatment that costs about US$80,000 in the USA.
To be quite honest I found the press release was high in sensational claims and low on detail, so I emailed the MSF person who had sent me the press release and, just to clarify what was what, I asked these questions:
1. What is the medication (I am assuming Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir)?
2. Which country is it being sourced from? (I am assuming Egypt)
3. What length treatment is being got for $120? (I am assuming 8 weeks)
4. What populations will be able to access Hep C treatment through MSF?
5. How can people with Hep C access this cheap treatment?
The reply was prompt but not very helpful. Yes the medication was Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir. The treatment length was 12 weeks for US$120.
But who makes the Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir? Who can access it at that price? Where can I buy it? How can people with Hepatitis C buy it at that price? What countries is it available in at US$120 per treatment?
None of these questions were answered… So one has to ask; “What use is it if MSF can get 12 weeks of Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir for US$120 if they are not telling anyone where to get it or how to get it?
Cheap Hepatitis C Treatment????
Over the last couple of months there have been several posts I have seen claiming that Hep C DAAs can be purchased for extraordinarily low prices. I have never seen any as low as US$120 before but I have seen prices claimed at around the mid US$200 for 12 weeks treatment.
However the facts are that every time I have chased down the sources of these low price claims there has never been anyone who can tell me where I can buy them.
Never! Not one!
Because a large part of my work is about helping people with Hep C to access affordable treatment I am very, very interested in finding suppliers of cheap, quality assured DAAs. I would be jump through flaming hoops to get DAAs for these low prices… but can I actually find someone who will supply me 12 weeks of Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir for US$120?
No. No-one can.
Can I find someone who will supply me 12 weeks of Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir for US$250?
No. Not anywhere!