One of the really import issues to consider is the length of time you should do treatment for.
Every week I get emails from people who want to buy 8 weeks treatment of generic Harvoni because their doctor or clinic told them that was all the treatment they needed to do with Harvoni.
And I always write back and say that if they can afford it they should consider doing 12 weeks.
The facts are simple; the longer the treatment time the better the chance of a cure. If a person does 8 weeks then they have about a 90% chance of curing their Hep C. If they do 12 weeks then they have a better than 94% chance of a cure.
Of course some people think that I am just saying that to try to get them to spend more money so that I can become a generic Drug Baron!!!
( And if I could express just how wildly frustrating dealing with people's suspicious minds is for me I would).
The real story is that sure 8 weeks will cure a lot of people but 12 weeks will cure more people.
Sure if you do 8 weeks there is a 90% chance you will be cured. That is you might be one of the 9 out of 10 that gets cured. BUT you might also be the one out of ten that does not get cured.
Because I talk to people every week who have failed treatment I am very aware of just how hard that hits. So I really want to make sure that people give themselves the best chance of a cure.
The 8 week treatment option is popular because it costs less. The bean counters in the health insurance companies and government health services know that a 90% cure rate from 8 weeks costs them 30% less than a 94% cure rate with 12 weeks. It is a BIG $$$ saving. So they push it.
So if you can afford it please consider doing the 12 weeks treatment.
To demonstrate this issue about length of treatment being important I know a number of people who have failed 12 weeks treatment with brand Harvoni and then re-treated with a longer treatment period with generic Harvoni and cleared.
Below is an email I received today:
I have Hep C genotype 1 and relapsed after treatment using Harvoni supplied by our Canadian government health service.
I was on Harvoni last year for the maximum covered by BC (Canada) Medicare at the time, 12 weeks. At the end I was undetectable, but the Hep C virus came back after a few weeks. My Liver doc said if the treatment had gone for another month it likely would have done the job properly. I'm interested in trying again on my own...as I had no ill effects from the drug.
Perhaps an added month?
The cost here to our Health Service for Harvoni was $27K per month and they will not approve another treatment. Documentation is easily obtained, ie blood tests showing viral levels, and I likely have the original prescription...I doubt the doctor will want to be involved in this as per the usual reasons....the doctors are in bed with the drug companies
Could you let me know what you think my options are?
I know getting these generic Hep C meds into Canada can be done by some means.
So what I am saying is if you can afford to do the longer treatment period then DO IT!!!!