9th November 2015
Yesterday I had a pleasant meeting with Dr James Freeman the founder of FixHepC. It was a perfect Tasmanian Spring day with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze blowing across the water of the Dentrecasteux Channel.
We met at the Peppermint Bay hotel the local pub in my little village. The pub overlooks Peppermint Bay, a beautiful tree fringed bay. It is called Peppermint Bay after the trees that line its shores. These are Peppermint Gums, a variety eucalyptus tree which has an oil that smells like peppermint if you crush the leaves in your hand.
Because it was such a lovely day the pub was pretty crowded, with no spare seats so we took our drinks out onto the expansive lawn and stretched out there to discuss developments in access to affordable Hep C treatment around the world.
Dr James Freeman is an interesting and highly intelligent man who has an inspiring vision for a Hep C free world. He set up FixHepC with that vision in mind and, with its associated “Buyers Club” FixHepC is having a real impact on the provision of affordable generic Hep C medicines and treatment.
A lot of people ask about the connection between myself and Dr Freeman, the fact that we both live in Hobart in Tasmania, about as far away from anywhere as one can live, yet in our different ways we are having quite an impact on Hep C treatment around the world.
A strange coincidence?
Well yes and no. I guess the strange coincidence is that two people who were both interested in Hep C treatment (for very different reasons) and both prepared and able to push the boundaries of the “status quo” lived within a half hour drive of each other. However the reality is that it was reading an article in our local newspaper that alerted me to the release of generic Sofosbuvir in India... this article featured Dr Freeman, who at that stage was just beginning to investigate the Chinese APIs from Mesochem.
So Dr Freeman followed the Chinese API path and I went to India and followed the Indian path.
And so it is now. I work with the people I met in India to help folk access affordable treatment for Hepatitis C using Indian generics and Dr Freeman has used the contacts he developed in China to create a structure that has assisted people access affordable Hep C meds.
So in a strange way we work in parallel. We share information and news and help each other when we can but we are different people with a different approach but with the same goal, to help people access affordable treatment and to help them get their health back.
Below is an email that demonstrates this idea... that both of us have the goal of seeing people cured.
A while back you helped us get in touch with Dr James Freeman with regard to securing medication for ####’s Hep C. I said that I would update you on progress.
The specific medication that #### needed due to his Genotype and being unresponsive to other treatments, was Harvoni. Through the FixHepC Buyers Club we were able to secure the first generic (tested) medication from Bangladesh. (Twinvir). We were very excited and relieved when the parcel for #### actually arrived! (23/10/15) We felt there was a chance they might never have made it. They had been opened and inspected by N.Z. Customs and promptly sent on (accompanied by ####’s Specialist’s Prescription).
On the first day #### started his Twinvir, he kept saying he “felt strange” but couldn’t really pin the feeling down and was very lethargic but only for about an hour. Each day from there he has progressed. At day three or four he was saying he “felt ALIVE”. 2 weeks into treatment now, and his energy levels have climbed dramatically. He looks better than he has in months! He had his 2 week blood tests yesterday and the Specialist phoned to tell him that all the blood viral counts and indicators had come back substantially reduced! Its all looking very good and we are delighted.
Thanks for your help too Greg.