19th April 2016
Treating Hep C with Chinese APIs: An early solution revisited
First: What is an API?
All tablets of all the drugs you buy through a chemist or pharmacy are made up of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and a filler. In the case of tablets or capsules this filler might be chalk or lactose or some form of cellulose or any other inert powder that can be squeezed into a tablet or mixed with the concentrated powder to fill a capsule. In some cases the API is mixed with a sugary syrup or water and ethanol to make a liquid dose.
So the API is the concentrate, the active ingredient in any medicine: tablet, capsule, syrup.
Before Bangladesh started making Twinvir, before Sofosbuvir was licensed in India the only option for a generic Hepatitis C treatment with the new Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) drugs was to buy APIs from China and make them into doses ones self or, where possible, to get a chemist/pharmacist to do that job for you. In the "old days" all chemists could do this. Indeed many or most prescriptions were filled by the chemist directly by making the medicines from APIs however now days 99.9% of medicine is mass produced and chemists/pharmacists simply sell pre-packed tablets and capsules.
However in most countries there are still specialist Compounding Chemists who will make up APIs into medicines. Most will require a prescription to do this.
So up until December 2015 a lot of people did take the Hep C API treatment option and imported APIs from China, mostly from Mesochem, a large company that specialises in making the APIs for all kinds of drugs, including Hep C medicines. Mesochem made the pure active ingredients; 99.9% pure Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir and Daclatasvir.
Buying your Hep C treatment in API form offers several advantages. Of course back in 2015 it was the only way of getting Ledipasvir or Daclatasvir to add to Sofosbuvir to treat the various genotypes of Hep C.
But even today with licensed Indian generic Hep C drugs readily available there are still advantages in considering treating your Hep C with APIs.
Firstly there is price. The cost of a treatment combination using APIs is about half the cost of buying the Indian generic treatment. For example if you are buying a 12 week treatment of Indian generic Harvoni to treat Hep C genotype 1 it will cost you around US$1,400 to buy the medicine and also to pay for shipping. To buy the API equivalent would be less than US$750. So there is a big saving.
Next is the actual shipping. Because these APIs are concentrates they take up a lot less space than the tablets. Remember that the tablets of generic Harvoni are in bottles and the bottles are in little boxes. So it ends up a biggish parcel.
To treat Hepatitis C genotype 2 or 3 you need Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir. These are not made in single tablets so you have to get three bottles of generic Sofosbuvir and then three bottles of generic Daclatasvir, also all in boxes. So it ends up a big parcel.
The bigger the parcel the more likely Customs is going to have a look at it.
If you buy APIs of Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir or Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir the APIs come in strong vacuum sealed aluminum packets. Very solid, very tight and very compact. A 12 week treatment of Sof+ Dac or Sof+Led easily fits into a standard document envelope and this is how Mesochem ships them.
Such size envelopes rarely attract the attention of Customs.
This is very important in countries that have restrictive rules for the importation of medicines for personal use. APIs sent in document envelopes can be sent to many countries where Customs would automatically stop and inspect a small parcel containing tablets.
So APIs are a great option for countries such as Serbia, Ukraine, Italy, Russia and other countries that make it hard for people to access Hep C treatment.
So you when have your supply of APIs, now what do you do with them?
Is it difficult to turn the APIs into consumable doses?
No... it is really very easy.
A lot of the same countries that have restrictive importation rules also have restrictive rules on their chemists.
In Australia, and a number of other countries, you simply use Google to find a compounding chemist near you and take your API along and they will make it into doses.
Unfortunately this is not the case in many countries and people need to make up their own doses.
And that is not as hard as it might seem.
You just need one thing: a set of microscales, which will cost you not more than US$80 for a really good set that can be purchased online. Actually you should be able to pick up a good set for under $50.
Now once you have your set of microscales there are a few choices of how you make your doses, different people make different choices but all that I know of have cured their Hep C regardless of the way they made up their doses.
The important thing is that you turn your APIs in 84 equal doses (12 weeks treatment)
So if you are using Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir you need to make 84 doses of Sofosbuvir and 84 doses of Ledipasvir. If you are using Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir then your need 84 equal doses of Sof and 84 equal doses of Dac.
Some people mix the API with a filler, such as lactose and then divide it into 84 doses and put the doses into 84 capsules.
Some people simply divide the API into 84 doses and put the API into 84 capsules without any filler and take it that way.
Some people simply divide the API into 84 doses and each day mix the dose into a glass of water and drink it.
Some people wrap the dose in a bit of rice paper and swallow it with a glass of water.
I know different people who have used all these different methods and they all share one thing in common. At the end of their treatment period they have been cured.
The API does not have to be in a capsule or a tablet... there is nothing magic about a capsule or a tablet (though it is a nice tidy way of taking drugs). The important thing is that the API must end up in your stomach and then in your blood. So as long as you get the right amount of API into your stomach it does not really matter how it gets there because it will end up in your blood.
Also, whilst it is lovely if you can get 84 doses of exactly the same weight, for example 84 X 60 mg of Daclatasvir there is actually a margin of tolerance, this means if your dose is 65 mg one day and 60 mg the next and 55 mg the next it is not going to make much difference to the treatment outcome because the way the the body absorbs and metabolises drugs varies from day to day anyway. So you have a tolerance of about 10% variation from day to day.
So to summarise the two advantages of treating your Hep C with a combination of APIs are:
1. Cheaper purchase price
2. Easier Shipping
The important thing with APIs is to keep them dry and store in a cool place.
If you want to order APIs from Mesochem contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: I make no commission and receive no payment of any kind from Mesochem, I recommend them simply because they have a very good reputation for purity of product and for customer service.
25th April 2016
Side Effects from Hepatitis C Treatment
The issue of side effects is an interesting one, and like the question of why one in about forty people relapse after treatment, it is still an unknown and subject to a lot of speculation.
Sadly I have no answers about what the cause of side effects is however I do have some observations about the side effects that do arise during Hep C treatment. I hope that they might be helpful.
Firstly let me make this point. Some people get no noticeable side effects at all during treatment. I regularly get emails from people who have started treatment with some dread, worrying about what the side effects would be like and then they get none at all. Of course now they are worried that they are taking counterfeit medication. So they go for their blood tests and BINGO... fantastic results.
So some people get no side effects from their Hep C treatment with the new DAAs.
Some get minor side effects like insomnia or slight head aches or slight aching joints.
Some people get quite bad head aches etc.
Some people have extreme emotional reactions like depression.
Some people get extreme physical reactions like vomiting and so on.
In most cases the side effects settle down after the first two or three weeks.
Talking to the various doctors who specialise in Hep C and the liver no-one really knows exactly why there is this huge variation in how Hepatitis C treatment effects different people.
One doctor suggested to me that the longer a person has been infected the more likely there will be strong side effects.
Another doctor suggested there may be some connection between viral load and side effects and another suggested that the level of liver damage may be a factor. Yet another doctor suggested that the general health of the person pre-treatment might be a factor.
Probably all these things influence the side effects issue.
However one thing is certain, that is if you start Hep C treatment with a viral load of around 4 million Hep C virus per milliliter of blood this means your blood is carrying tens of billions of Hep C virus and there will also be quite a few billion more virus living permanently in your liver, in the cells and scar tissue.
In most treatments nearly all of those virus will be dead within 10 to 14 days. So your body will have to remove tens of billions of strands of dead virus DNA from your blood.
Then your liver will start repairing itself, the liver enzymes in your blood stream will drop to normal levels. A LOT of change going on in your body. Heaps of things going on as your body starts to bring stuff back to normal and healthy.
The liver is a critical and important organ that influences the functions of many other organs in your body. It is strongly linked to the production of many hormones in the body. So as it starts to repair and rebuild things are going to be out of balance for a few days at least.
Remember that your body has been battling a terrible and fatal disease for many years and it has made changes to manage the effects of this disease in your body.
So be kind to yourself. Rest when you need it. Eat sensibly. Listen to your body and realise that profound changes are happening. Its not just that pill each day, its a whole lot of stuff that your body is doing to clear things up, to restore its balance, to return you to health. For most people things settle down after a few weeks.
So be a patient patient and be gentle with yourself.
28th April 2016
Paranoia in Barcelona
I've just re-read a couple of posts that I made from Barcelona and it reminded me how sick I was with the flu and also how worried I was about something going wrong there. I have not been that paranoid for many years, back in the early 1970's when I smoked way too much grass was the last time I felt that paranoid.
Now I am home and safely out of Spain I can tell you why the paranoia.
Apart from attending the EASL Liver Conference visiting Barcelona offered another great opportunity to help people with Hep C.
Particularly people from Italy with Hep C.
For some reason Italy has terrible rules for importing medicines for personal use. It is okay to fly to India and bring medicines back to Italy on one's person but you can not have them mailed to you.
We tried several times and everytime had the shipments seized by Italian Customs.
So usually for people in Italy I just give them contact for people in India and they fly there, buy their Hep C medicines and fly home.
But there are also many Italians who can not fly to India to get their generic Harvoni, or whatever Hep C treatment they need, because of poor health or because of the cost.
So going to Spain meant that I was able to co-ordinate the mass importation of Hep C medicines for people from Italy.
I asked a few doctors that I knew who have access to generic Harvoni, Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir to bring what they could to Barcelona and I organised with people in Italy either to fly to Barcelona or to arrange some other way to get the Hep C meds.
Obviously a lot of Italians have friends or family in Spain so I was able to organise for the medicines to be left with them.
It took a bit of organising (which I am not good at) but in the end I was able to help 8 different Italians access generic Hep C medicines through my trip to Barcelona. Some got APIs and some got generic Harvoni from India.
All have now begun treatment.
So that is why I was a little paranoid in Barcelona... I was worried about a knock on the door with a few Spanish policemen standing there wanting to know what I was doing.
I'm sure if someone tried they would find a law that I was breaking by getting life saving medicines to desperate people.... yes breaking a law to help people get cured from a terrible disease.
What kind of stupid law is that?
30th April 2016
Vietnam Looks After People with Hep C better than the USA
Regular readers of this blog might recall a couple of months back I posted how Vietnam had negotiated a bulk purchase of Hepatitis C medicines from the Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Hetero. The Vietnam government negotiated with Hetero and spent (as I recall) about US$2 billion and got a price of about US$750 per treatment for generic Harvoni and a little less for generic Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir. This means that patients with Hep C in Vietnam can access Hepatitis C treatment using generics for a very low price.
Added to that Vietnam now also allows its pharmacists and doctors to import generic Hepatitis C medicines direct from India or Bangladesh and to re-sell the generic Harvoni or Sof+Daclatasvir combination direct to patients at a cost of about the same price as on the streets in India.
Below is a little email conversation I had yesterday from a person in Vietnam explaining the situation.
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:58:47 +0700
Subject: Start My Treatment of Hep C with Indian Generic Hecinat -LP
From: c ###### @gmail.com
Dear Mr. Greg Jefferys,
I am happy that you keep doing great efforts to help people with Hep C around the world.
I am glad to inform you that I am now on day 5 of treatment with Indian Generic Hepcinat - LP. This medicine from India is now easily available in Vietnam with very affordable cost of about 446 USD per bottle (28 pills). We dont need any doctor's prescription to get that med. We just need to do some bloodwork prior to treatment to decide the treatment period, then We can make order this med online. The med will be delivered to our door just some hours after ordering (easy like we buy some soft drinks in convenient store).
Thank you so much for your information on treatment of hep C. With your information, I am of more motivated in finding ways of kicking the stubborn HCV out of my body.
With my best regards,
C###### from Hanoi, Vietnam
On Friday, 29 April 2016, greg jefferys <email@example.com> wrote:
Thanks for informing me of the situation in Vietnam.
Could you kindly inform me if a person buys the medicines from a hospital or a government agency or a pharmacy
I would like to publish this information on my website\
thanks and best wishes
Dear Mr. GregJefferys,
Good Afternoon from Hanoi,
We buy Hepcinat - LP from the pharmacist. Here in Vietnam, a lot of pharmacists import generic medicines for hep C from India and Bangladesh with the cost from 450 to 800 USD per bottle. As far as I know, the govermental and private hospitals also provide the medicines with almost double the cost we have from pharmacist. Anyway, our Hep C patients are now all happy as we can access to affordable treatment. The medicine is finally available and Hepc C is more or less like a flu now.
Thank you again.
C####### FROM HANOI
Commonsense and Compassion
So here is a government that uses common sense and compassion to help its citizens access Hep C treatment. The Vietnam government is a government that is not being controlled by the billionaires who run Big Pharma.
Who would have thought that the the people of Vietnam have better access to Hepatitis treatment than the people in the USA, Canada, Italy and other so called "great powers".
So Vietnam is now a place that you can fly to to buy your Hepatitis C treatment. The doors are opening, the options are increasing and the pressure is building on the blood sucking parasites who run Big Pharma.
5th May 2016
The Value of Life; the Price of Health
One of the odd and useful aspects of having a public profile and being accessible is that I get interesting and unexpected communications like the one from Vietnam in my last post.
Some of you may recall, way back last year, that I wrote about a message I received from a person who told me that they worked in the UK office of Gilead.
A couple of days ago I received another communication from someone claiming to work for Gilead, in their UK offices, who thought I might be interested in hearing how Gilead arrived at the price of US$80,000 for a 12 week treatment of Sofosbuvir (and later Harvoni).
Now I should make clear that I can not be certain that this person actually does work for Gilead nor can I be sure that this story is true, however it does have a ring of authenticity about it.
The story goes like this.
Gilead had already done their sums on Sofosbuvir, what the demand would be like from countries like the USA and the UK and how much they could sell but they were not sure on exactly what price to charge.
So they sent their minions around to a number of the world's largest health insurance companies and asked what a patient with Hepatitis C cost a health insurance company from when they were first diagnosed to when they were either cured or died.
They received a number of figures between US$150,000 and US$180,000. It turned out that the average cost per patient with Hep C, cured or died, was about $170,000 so reportedly Gilead said:
"So if we could cure 90% of your patients for around $80,000 would you be interested?"
Yes of course, it was a saving of 50%.
So that is how the $1,000 pill came into existence. It was nothing to do with the cost of making the tablet, nothing to do with the money spent on research, it was simply bean counting and selling the product for the absolute maximum that they could hope to get.
Nothing illegal about that... nothing wrong with it either if you do not care about how many people will die simply because they can not afford a medicine that is very cheap and easy to make but that is being sold for an outrageous price.
Of course we now have generic Hepatitis C treatments and many thousands of people are being cured through accessing these generics however what really astounds me is how ignorant or biased so many doctors still are about their patients using these licensed generic treatments.
I had a funny situation happen a couple of days ago, two people contacted me, one from Latvia and one from England.
The guy from Latvia has Hep C genotype 1 and wanted generic Indian Harvoni. His doctor insisted on it. He was a bit short of cash so I mentioned the option of Chinese APIs but his doctor was very insistent that only the Indian generic Harvoni would do.
On the same day I got an email from a guy in England with Hep C genotype 1. He was knocked back by the NHS (National Health Service) for treatment with DAAs because he was not sick enough.
He approached his doctor about doing generic treatment and the doctor was very (unofficially) supportive of this and agreed to unofficially monitor his treatment (the NHS refuses to monitor the treatment of UK patients who choose to treat with generics even though each person who does this saves the NHS about 20,000 British pounds)
Anyway the NHS doctor would only monitor his English patient IF he used Australian generics which are made from Chinese APIs.
So in Latvia we have a specialist doctor insisting that his patient use Indian generics and in the UK we have a specialist doctor insisting that his patient use Chinese APIs.
The reality is that the work of Dr James Freeman proved that it does not matter. Chinese APIs, Indian generics, the results are the same, exactly the same.
Personally I prefer to see people using the Indian generics because they are licensed and in tablets rather than in capsules, however that is just my personal preference.
The reality is that APIs or licensed Indian generics work the same as long as you take them. Of course if you don't take them you will not get cured... pretty simple really.
7th May 2016
Below is the link to Dr Freeman's presentation at EASL on the treatment of Hepatitis C with generic Harvoni or the combination of Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir.
In this presentation Dr Freeman shows the results of a study of over 400 people being treated for various genotypes of Hepatitis C with generic DAAs (Direct Acting Antivirals such as Harvoni).
In this study the pre-treatment blood tests, including viral loads are recorded and then compared with the post treatment results.
These results are compared with the existing data from tests using branded DAAs such as Gilead's Harvoni and Bristol Myer Squib's Daklinza. The the results of this study show there is no difference in treatment outcomes regardless of whether the patient was treated with generic DAAs or brand name DAAs.
You really should watch this and is you can copy it do so because it just might get taken down.
You may not know it yet but Dr Freeman's advertisements on Facebook for Fix Hep C generic Hep C treatments have been banned by Facebook. So you just might find that his presentation might be pulled off Youtube too.
9th May 2016
The Doctor Question
There was a time when most, almost all, people who chose to become doctors did so because they had a deep interest in helping and healing people. Their main motivation was in learning about and understanding the science of medicine in order to cure diseases and bring health and well being to their patients.
Unfortunately this is no longer the case.
Now days many people choose the medical profession because of the income potential. Of course it is not possible to do a survey of doctors to discover the exact proportion of doctors who chose that profession purely for its income potential because no-one is going to admit to that.
My own personal opinion is about 50% of doctors chose to be doctors because of income rather than because they want or aspire to be a healer and carer.
Of course it is a touchy subject and most doctors reading this will no doubt erupt with righteous indignation at my assertion that money is their primary movitive for being in their profession.
Why do a I claim this? Why do I even bring it up?
Because of my experiences over the last year.
Let me explain.
When I first started helping people in the UK to access generic Hep C medicines I was under the (false) impression that they required a doctors prescription to be able to import generic Harvoni for personal use.
So I, and the people with Hep C, were desperately trying to find doctors in the UK who would write a prescription for Sofosbuvir + Ledipasvir or for generic Harvoni.
No-one had any luck and things looked grim until I was contacted by a London based doctor whose best friend had Hep C and this doctor was desperate help him.
So he wrote a prescription for his friend and I organised the meds for him and asked him if he would mind writing scripts for other people with Hep C. He said "Sure, but it will cost 200 British pounds for the consultation."
I thought that was a bit expensive but if it saves a life it was worth it.
So I contacted a couple of people in England and gave them the doctor's phone number and address.
A few days and then I received emails from the patients who had contacted the doctor informing me that he was refusing to see them.
He told me he had contacted his insurance people and they told him that writing prescriptions for generic would increase his insurance premiums.
Another UK doctor contacted me for information on getting generic Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir. This doctor had Hep C himself.
I helped him get the meds and when he started treatment I asked him if he would mind writing prescriptions for other British people with Hep C.
He said he would wait until he got the results of his first blood tests and if they were good then he would.
He got blood tests at 14 days into treatment and his viral load had dropped to "undetectable" and his liver enzymes had returned to normal levels.
So he agreed to write prescription for other people in the UK with Hep C.
So I passed his contact details on to British patients and a few days later I got an email from this doctor saying that he had looked at the cost of his insurance and that it was not viable for him to write prescriptions for generic Hep C meds.
Of course I then discovered that a prescription is not needed to import Hep C medicines into the UK for personal use so that problem was solved and since then we have bypassed doctors and many hundreds of people in the UK have cured themselves of Hep C without any help from their doctors.
However when people imported the medicines themselves and started treatment the next big shock was that UK doctors and the British National Health Service refused to monitor their treatment.
So even though the NHS refused to treat these people and by treating themselves these people with Hepatitis C are saving the NHS about 20,000 pounds per treatment the bloody minded doctors in the NHS refuse to monitor the patients treatment!!!
Now lets go to the USA.
I have to first say that the situation with US doctors is better than the UK. Whilst I would describe about 90% of UK doctors as being selfish and cowardly I would say that this probably only applies to 70% of US doctors.
In other words about one out of three people in the USA is now able to get a prescription from their doctor for generic Hepatitis C medicines. Now this is people who have a good and understanding doctor however I have not been able to find a doctor who will put his or her hand up and say:
"If people are having trouble getting a prescription for generic Hep C meds then send them to me and I will help."
Well that is not entirely true.
I got an email from a US doctor a few weeks back. He wrote and said that he admired my work and had read about the fact that a lot of people in the USA are having trouble getting a prescription for generic Hep C medicines.
He wrote and told me that he was nearing retirement and wanted to do something really worthwhile before he left the profession.
He was really sick and tired of the way that Big Pharma was running the medical world in the USA and he wanted to stick it to them.
He wrote and told me that I could send patients to him and that provided that they had all the supporting lab reports and it was the appropriate treatment then he would write them a prescription for either generic Harvoni or Sof+Daclatasvir and monitor their treatment and support them if there were any issues.
Wow, I thought, At last a really courageous doctor who is prepared to make a stand on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of US citizens with Hep C who need a supportive doctor to help them access generic Hep C treatment.
Because of all the emails I get from the USA I immediately sent this doctor's contact details to a patient who was having trouble finding a doctor to write him a prescription.
His own doctor had point blank refused because he did not want to risk trouble with Big Parma.
Well surprise, surprise this patient wrote to the doctor and then wrote back to me saying the doctor had changed his mind about it and would not see him.
I immediately wrote to the US doctor to ask what was wrong, what had changed... it took two weeks for him to gather the balls to reply.
When he did eventually answer my email he said that, whilst he still felt strongly about the terrible situation for people with Hep C in the USA, he was not prepared to risk his financial future by writing prescriptions for generics and withdrew his offer.
Maybe on the day he wrote his original offer to me he had been drunk or stoned???
I don't know why people do stuff like that. I am not asking doctors to write prescriptions for illegal drugs or some weird concoction made out of monkey's brains and herbs from the Amazon jungle...
We are talking about licensed generic Hepatitis C medication made in FDA approved factories.
What is going on with the medical profession?
10th May 2016
A Question of Ethics
I received an email this morning that revisits the issue of prices and greed. Around the world there are many desperate people trying to access affordable generic Hep c treatment. Sure for people in the USA or the UK or many European countries the price of around US$1,500 is cheap but for amny people, indeed a high portion of people, this is still a very large amount of money, out of reach for many people.
So it really saddens me to see people selling generics at huge profit margins, margins of 200% or more.
Sure if a person is providing a service and spending time and energy on it then there should be a fair margin of profit so that they can devote the time and energy needed to run this as a business. If the supplying of generic Hep C treatment is to be done effectively and efficiently then it has to be run as a business and there needs to be some profit to cover time and expenses but it needs to be a fair profit.
There is too much greed and too much exploitation of vunerable and desperate people with Hep C from Big Pharma, now we see it from "little Pharma" as well.
It is very sad.
I see the solution is in educating people as to what the right prices are.
The maximum that people should be paying for generic Hepatitis C medication, including shipping costs, is US$1,500 for a 12 week treatment. This is for either generic Harvoni or generic Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir.
For you information below is the email conversation thread.
Date: Mon, 9 May 2016 11:21:08 +0300
> Subject: Perhaps a question of ethics
> From: ########
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I send you this e-mail because I feel I can discuss it better with you.
I've seen on internet that there are several people in RO who "provide" the service to supply to Hep C patients the generic medication at a price that is between 3 - 12 times more than the cost from India. Most often the prices are in the range of 3 to 5000 Euro (i.e $4000 USD).
This amount is considerably high for many people from Romania (for some it is impossible to gather all this money ) and it is iritating to know that in fact the medication is available at a far better price. but they just don't know it!!!!
However I feel that starting to "fight" with people about these prices on internet/forums/comments with such high prices might have a side effect: it might discourage people seeking treatment to procure the generic medication to cure themselves, no matter if the price is 1000 or 4000 USD.
The only thought that makes me feel better is in fact a hope that perhaps in 1-2 years the HCV generic medication will be available worldwide and at an affordable price so that people may access it from their local farmacies as easy as they would take any other pills, having just the doctor's prescription.
The issue of profit is a difficult one.
People doing this supplying of generic Hep C medicines must make some income because it takes up a lot of time to organise these things. However it should be a fair profit, not an excessive profit, because there is already too much greed in this area.
My personal position is that I charge a small fee that is about 10% on the costs for sending out of India.
Of course I also make clear that if a person has difficulties finding the money then I happily will remove my fee and send at my cost. In my opinion money should not obstruct a person from access to treatment.
I guess the main thing, the best way to stop profiteering, is to just get the correct information about prices well known, the absolute maximum price that anyone should be paying for any generic DAA combination, including shipment is 1,250 Euros for a 12 week treatment, including shipment costs but not import duties. If this fact is commonly then if people pay the high prices it is their foolishness for not doing proper research.
It is about education. If people know the correct prices then they will not pay the excessive prices you mentioned
13th May 2016
Gilead's Greed and the Indian Patent Appeal
As many of my readers would now know Gilead has successfully appealed against the rejection of its patent for Sofosbuvir.
Not content with making a couple of dollars royalty off each licensed generic Harvoni and Sofosbuvir manufuactured and sold in India Gilead felt the need to gain total control over Indian production of generic Hep C medicines.
Whilst many people are dissappointed in this decision by the Indian High Court not many people are surprised.
There are a combination of qualities that seem to be a regular feature of Big Pharma's methods of doing business, of crushing opposition, all of which work well in the Indian environment. These are:
1. Vast amounts of money
2. Huge political influence
3. Basic old fashioned corruption
5. Threatening or conducting legal action
It would seem likely that all these approaches to solving problems were used in Gilead's patent application and successful subsequent appeal.
So the big questions is how will the Indian reversal of its position and allowing the patent for Sofosbuvir to be granted effect supply and availability of generic Hepatitis medication from India?
I have spoken to a number of my friends in India and the truth is that no-one is really sure about what will happen next except for one thing, that is that the price will no longer continue on a downward trend.
Will the price of Indian Generic Harvoni and Daclatasvir rise? Will there be a decrease in production?
Again we do not know.
I would expect the most likely outcome is that Gilead will try to block the supply of generic Hep C medicines from India to western countries like the US and Europe.
One thing that you can be sure of is that Gilead has only one interest, and that is maximising profits at any cost.
Gilead is a ruthless profit making machine and it will do what it can to remove anyone or anything that obstructs its quest for greater profits.
If you have been considering starting the treatment of your Hepatitis C with Indian generics I would not delay making a decision soon.
For the complete story on Gilead and its Sofosbuvir patent in India please follow the link below and be prepared to read of a story of humanity at its worst.
In the future, in a time when humanity has risen above greed and corruption, the people who now run Gliead will be remembered in the same way as Hitler and the Nazis and other groups and individuals who have been responsible for the deaths of millions of humans, of massive genocides. Every year hundreds of thousands of people die and millions of people grieve at the loss of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and children who have died needlessly simply because of Gilead's greed.
Click this link to read the complete story of Gilead's Patent appeal.
14th May 2016
An Italian in Mumbai
Whilst the Hep C world is dominated by the sad tales of cowardly doctors and greedy corperate entities like Gilead there are also lots of good news stories and it is important to focus on the good things that are happening.
As my readers may know one of the free services I offer is to connect you up with reliable and honest suppliers in India.
For lots of people flying to India and buying their generic Harvoni or Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir is a very good option and a lot of people from the USA and Europe do this.
So I help people by putting them in contact with good people in India. As mentioned I do not charge for this and I do not receive and commissions, fees or any other form of benifit for doing this, either from the person going to India or the people I send them to in India.
Because Italy has very strict laws against its citizens importing Hep C medicines by mail or courier many Italians are flying to India to buy generic Hepatitis C treatment. Below is an email I received today from one of many Italians I have assisted in this way.
Considering that you (and your blog) helped me so much to obtain the
therapy for my hep c at an affordable price, I feel compelled to
tell you, in a short story, my travel in Mumbai. I contacted your friend Parag a month
before I left to go to India, he wrote me the medicine's price and all other information
I needed to know. He also ever included a quite cheap hotel where to stay for a few
days. Before time to depart we exchanged our Whatsapp contacts as well.
Unfortunately May is a bad month to visit Mumbai, due to the high temperature, but I
decided not to lose time and to take advantage from the opportunity that
fate has given me. So I planned to stay 3 days in Mumbai, the minimum
after 12 hours of flight and one connection in London, coming from Rome.
Parag has revealed to be a pleasant person, as well as very reliable. He
assisted me expecially in the meals choosing and for buying of some
clothes I brought to my wife and my daughters. He spent enough time with
me and thanks to him I did not feel alone and lost in Mumbai. We have
been in touch during all time by Whatsapp and he suggested me a lot of
things. Now Parag is also a friend of mine and I hope he comes to find
me next June, when he will travel in Italy.
The only bad note was the return flight. I should have departed at 2 am,
but after boarding the air conditioned system failed and after 2 hours
in a hot aircraft, passengers have been disembarked. British Airways
brought us to the Marriot hotel (not so bad), where we waited that
another aircraft coming from Singapore to substitute the other one.
Finally we departed from Mumbai with a day of delay.
Next monday I have appointment with the hepatologist for a fibroscan,
I'll show him my indian purchase, asking him to monitor my treatment.
That's all for the moment, but the story still continues until the virus
will be completely eradicated. Again many thanks Greg, and feel free to
disclose my story.