18th of August 2016
Is the World Hepatitis Alliance the puppet of Big Pharma?
The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) claims that everything it does is aimed to benefit people with Hepatitis yet it does not advocate for access to generic treatment for people with Hep C. Indeed it seems to completely ignore the fact that getting treatment with generic Hep C drugs is the only way that most people will have any hope of curing their Hep C.
Why does the WHA appear to ignore this critical fact?
This is a question that I would like to put before you, my reader.
The WHA likes to be seen as a guiding light in eradicating viral Hepatitis, but is it really looking after the best interests of people with Hep C or is it looking after the interests of Big Pharma?
I have formed my opinions based on the best available information that I have been able to get. I have written to the World Hepatitis Alliance and asked for clarification on the generic issue but after a couple of pages of replies nothing is any clearer. So I will express my opinions here without fear or favor; however if I state something that is incorrect or in error then I invite you to contact me and I will immediately amend any inaccuracy.
Who, or what, is the WHA?
The World Hepatitis Alliance describes itself as an organization whose purpose is providing global leadership to drive action to help eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. It claims to be a patient led and patient-driven not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. However the reality is that the WHA gets almost all of its annual US$3,000,000 budget from "donations" from Big Pharma.
So whilst the World Hepatitis Alliance claims to be fighting for the rights of people with Hep C the fact that they are actually funded by Big Pharma seems to indicate that they are actually a Hepatitis awareness pressure group that puts pressure onto governments and their health departments to buy Big Pharma's products.
I would suggest that this is why you will never see any mention of generic treatment options in anything that the World Hepatitis Alliance publishes or promotes (that I am aware of). Nor does the World Hepatitis Alliance lobby governments to improve access to generics for citizens in countries where generic Hep C treatment is blocked, such as Serbia and Canada and Italy.
Is the reason for this because they rely on Big Pharma for their funding. Is this the reason that the World hepatitis Alliance promotes Big Pharma's outrageously priced medicines not the cheaper, more affordable, generic alternatives? I believe so.
How is the WHA structured?
The World Hepatitis Alliance is made up of an Executive Board and a President. The board is selected from representatives from six regions around the world. The board members belong to regional Hepatitis organisations. Like the WHA, most of these organisations also rely on Big Pharma for the bulk of their funding.
For example Hepatitis Australia gets around $250,000 per annum from "corporate donations".
Like the WHA these groups all lobby governments to increase funding to make medicines available for people with Hepatitis. Now this seems like a good thing but the one thing that most of these groups have in common with the World Hepatitis Alliance is that they do not promote the use of generic Hep C medicines. They promote the use of Big Pharma's much more expensive medicines and actively discourage people from seeking generic treatment.
Around the world Big Pharma funded "advocacy groups" like Hepatitis Australia actively worked against the promotion of generic treatment of Hep C, despite the fact that generic DAAs have been proven to be just as effective as the much more expensive brand versions and despite the fact that these medicines are available at a price that is about 100th the price of Big Pharma's medicines. Yet almost none of the World Hepatitis Alliance aligned Hepatitis "advocacy" groups suggest the generic route to their members or to the general Hep C population even though this is the best treatment option for tens of millions of people.
So I believe that the WHA will never speak in favour of generics, will never lobby governments to create better access to generics or to take advantage of the lower costs and affordability that is created by the generics because they are puppets of Big Pharma.
So we see that there is a strong conflict of interests when an organisation claims to represent the best interests of people with Hepatitis C but receives most of its funding from Big Pharma. They are always going to have a bias against generic treatments and support the products of Big Pharma.
It is a very clever plan by Big Pharma. They fund Hep C advocacy groups to put pressure on governments to fund the purchase of the expensive branded medicines and and at the same time the same groups warn of the imaginary risks of using generics.
So the WHA claims big victories whenever a government buckles to pressure to fund the purchase of Big Pharma's Hep C meds and Big Pharma makes another few billion dollars profit and laughs all the way to the bank.
But for most countries the health budget is limited and when the lobbying of pressure groups like the WHA causes a government to put money into buying Harvoni or the VPak at around $50,000 per treatment some other area of the health budget loses funds.
The cuts might be from nursing or Emergency or the treatment of some other chronic disease.
If the WHA was sincere about eradicating Hep C from the world it would be lobbying every government on Earth to order bulk generics from India. Purchased in bulk a 12 week treatment of generic Harvoni would cost less than $700 per treatment instead of $50,000 or more.
Then there would be a real chance of eliminating Hep C from the Earth.
But the WHA does not do this and there is only one reason why they would not: they are puppets of Big Pharma.
Why have I written this?
I have written this piece about the WHA because it needs to be said that if the WHA actually used its considerable resources to promote access to safe generic treatment from licensed manufacturers and reliable suppliers they COULD make a big difference and millions of lives would be saved and much suffering stopped.
The fact that the WHA does not do that which is best for the people it claims to care about is a sad example of the corruption that pervades the world of Big Pharma.
Appendage to the WHA story.
I have to admit being worried about publishing the above article because I do not wish to offend folk but within 12 hours of publication I received the below email from a person in Romania. After reading it I felt that I had done the right thing to bring this problem into the public arena because the example below shows exactly how these things work and Big Pharma's total disregard for human suffering.
I just read your blog about WHA. I enjoyed reading it and at the same time made me sad because you described the true situation. I wish it would have been different, but it is not.
Perhaps it should be added that through WHA or the so called "patient associations", people get brain washed to wait and wait and wait for a treatment that will be, hopefully, made available to them just before being close to death.
I can give you as example the recent case from Romania which shows that the pressure of Big Pharma (via a patient association being funded by pharma companies) is working and it made the Romanian government allocate more money for treating more HCV patients with branded drugs. Soon 10 000 people will get treated with the interferon free therapy because the government decided to increase the funds for the treatment, as the previous budget was conceived to treat 5000 people only. I would estimate that with these extra funds, more than 250 000 people could have been treated with generic drugs. This patient association was making lobby for many time so that more people get treated and pressured the government to allocate more money. At the same time the association signals quite clear that the path of generic drugs means a lot of risks, the most probable effect being to scare people in not taking it, and all this under a so called umbrella of "patient safety".
I truly hope that with your efforts as well as the efforts of dr. Freeman, more and more people will be able to distinguish the reality from what WHA and Big Pharma is saying and get treated with effective and cheap generic drugs.
19th August 2016
First Release of a generic Epclusa®, (Sofosbuvir+ Velpatasvir) Sofosvel
Recently Gilead released Epclusa® (sofosbuvir 400 mg/velpatasvir 100 mg), with the claim that it was the first pan-genotypic, single tablet regimen for the treatment of adults with genotype 1-6 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Of course, like much of what Gilead says, this is not true. The first pan-genotypic, single tablet regime was Darvoni (Sofosbuvir 400 mg +Daclatasvir 60 mg) made by Beacon Industries in Bangladesh.
The combination of Sof+Dac is about as effective as Harvoni against genotype 1 and also effective against all other genotypes. It is also MUCH cheaper to make than Harvoni however the other giant drug company, Bristol Myer Squib, owned the patent for Daclatasvir. BMS and Gilead would not come to an agreement over making a single pill combination, even though this would have made the drug much cheaper and saved hundreds of thousands of lives in countries where the people are too poor to afford a genotype test.
Once again greed for the dollar dominated Gilead's marketing program, regardless of how many people would suffer and die.
However obviously Gilead could see the advantage of a one pill for all genotypes treatment. Especially because the cost of genotype testing is around US$300 per test and such a cost in many countries is impossible for people to afford.
Fortunately for the thousands of people already cured by Darvoni, Beacon Industries, in consultation with Dr James Freeman, developed this very affordable Hep C treatment of Sofosbuvir+Daclatasvir in one tablet. Darvoni sells for about US$750 plus freight for a 12 week treatment. This compares quite well with the cost of Gilead's Epclusa (Sofosbuvir + Velpatasvir), which sells for about US$75,000 for a 12 week treatment (100 times the price).
However Beacon likes to keep on top of its game and, again in consultation with Dr James Freeman, Beacon has made its own generic version of Sofosbuvir+Velpatasvir called Sofosvel.
The combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir (SOF/VEL) for 12 weeks has been authorized for use in patients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis and in combination with ribavirin for patients with decompensated cirrhosis. SOF/VEL is also approved for the treatment of patients with HCV genotype 2 and 3, without the need for RBV. Physicians also have the flexibility to consider the addition of RBV for genotype 3 infected patients with compensated cirrhosis.
So the big news is that Beacon Pharmaceuticals Limited, based in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh have released this new pan-genotypic drug Sofosvel, which is a combination of Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir in one tablet.
Buying from Beacon Sofosvel will cost about US$840+ shipping costs.
Pack size: 6 tablet in a box 12 weeks need: 14 box
Sofosvel Price Offer: USD 60 per box* USD 840 for 12 weeks
Shipping cost will be added.
This is important news for people who have relapsed as the combination of Sof+ Velpa with one other DAA is highly recommended for people who have relapsed on Harvoni or Sof+Dac.
22nd August 2016
Big Pharma Fights Back
While I sit in my little house in Southern Tasmania tapping away on my laptop answering emails and writing my blog, in my small way trying to help people around the world get access to affordable generic Hep C treatment, Big Pharma, with its billions of dollars and ferocious appetite for profit at any cost, does not sit idle.
Around the world Big Pharma uses its influence in the medical establishment to try to discredit generics as a viable treatment option even as the evidence mounts and mounts that generic DAAs are just as effective as the outrageously expensive branded medicines.
In India, where corruption within the lower levels of government is such a problem, Big Pharma is using its dollars to try to block exports. Several suppliers I know in India have had their shipments blocked in the past couple of weeks and have been working hard, negotiating with officialdom to get those blocks removed.
New Delhi and Mumbai Customs are on high alert. According to my sources someone working for one of the big generic manufacturers smuggled 10,000 bottles of generic DAAs to Russia and then diverted them to European countries like Serbia and Hungary where hundreds of thousands of people have Hepatitis C and can not access treatment. When this was discovered the life saving medicines were tracked down and seized in small batches. Of course a lot also got through to the people that needed them.
Rumors of fake medicines of Indian origin have been spread by the agents of Big Pharma to create a climate of fear and uncertainty. Whilst there is always a small risk of counterfeit drugs I have only heard of two instances in the past year so I do not think it is a real problem and it is no problem at all if people use established and recommended suppliers.
There are also stories that GILEAD sponsored a sting operation to crack down on gray market selling of generics in North India. Theoretically the manufacturing license agreements prohibit export of Hep C meds out of India and the 'gray market' is that which buys the medicines locally from wholesalers and then sends them overseas.
Gilead calls this process "diversion", that is the medicines are purchased locally and then diverted to overseas destinations. In response to this practice, which is how most people in Europe and the Americas get their treatment, Gilead had developed an "Anti-Diversion" program.
The Anti Diversion program is generally extremely disliked by Indian companies but GILEAD has a divide and conquer strategy where they will punish one manufacturer if they discover too much of their product is reaching overseas destinations then and force them to investigate and prosecute people breaking the "no export" rule so that they can keep their extremely lucrative license. However the Indians are a resilient race with centuries of practice at doing business under oppressive conditions so my assessment is that whatever Big Pharma does to try to stem the flow of generic Hep C treatments out of India the Indians will find a way around it.
The genie is out of the bottle.
24th August 2016
Big Pharma and Hep C Advocacy Groups: A Romanian Perspective.
Over the last week I received quite a bit of about feedback about my post on the World Hepatitis Alliance, the volume really surprised me. Only one person argued against what I wrote but he was from a Hep C advocacy group in Australia that receives considerable Big Pharma funding. The rest of the responses were overwhelmingly supportive of what I wrote.
I did get one email from the UK Hep Trust explaining that they now support people following the generic treatment course for Hep C.
Below is an email I received from a person in Romania who is now cured of Hep C by generic treatment. It is a good example of how people are looking at the role of these so-called Hep C advocacy groups.
As mentioned in my previous e-mail, I am sending you this e-mail to tell you about the hypocrisy that I see regarding the HCV situation, the Big Pharma and the so called Hep C patient association in Romania:
A Couple of Points:
In Romania individual seeking to receive HCV treatment has almost no power against the healthcare system which is denying the treatment (as postponing the treatment indefinitely is in fact a denial of treatment).
Thus for people looking for support from organizations like the so-call patient's associations, these groups bring some hope to the patients that they will be able to make "a miracle" that will enable the access to treatment.
The patient association that is very active in Romania is in fact sponsored by Big Pharma companies (Roche, Abbvie BMS, Jannsen ... http://hepato.ro/sustinatori/sponsori/) and they claim they fight on many levels for Hep C patients in Romania, such as awareness about hepatitis, stigma, prevention and treatment and so on.
Of course some of the work they do is great as it is important to be active on all levels when trying to fight the curse of Hepatitis C, but by far, the treatment is the most critical one.
And of course many patients are disappointed and think it makes no sense to talk and talk about HCV and getting diagnosed as long as the healthcare system may not provide the treatment. What point the talk if there is no treatment? Or if you have to wait until you are half dead before you can get treatment?
When talking about getting treatment for the HCV patients, there are two key parameters, two critical factors: the budget of the healthcare system and the cost of treatment. For treating a high number of patients, now that the DAAs are known to be very effective, there are 3 possible ways;
A. Increase the budget;
B. Ensure a low cost per treatment (like generic drugs or very special low prices of branded drugs);
C. A combination of A+B.
I have been monitoring several messages of this Romanian patient association and I noticed that their actions are focused on A. That is putting pressure on Romania's government to allocate more money and then publicly complaining how hard it is to negotiate with the government. Then they raise alarm signals that people are forced to proceed with "desperate actions" by buying drugs from the Internet which this so-call Hep C advocacy group claim are often "fake".
Thus this association basically ensures that point B, treatment by low cost generics, will be avoided by many patients and probably also by the government.
As I mentioned the money of this "advocacy group" comes from Big Pharma companies, so it is more than obvious why it acts like a devil disguised in an angel claiming to be concerned about the "patients safety" and "legal compliance" making a big noise about the risks of generic drugs ...
This may simply be called "hypocrisy".
Shall I believe that this patient association will ever make advocacy for HCV generic drugs? Only if I would be a naive person..... In addition to this I could argue that no government will in today's worked will be able to increase enormously their healthcare budgets which are already stretched to the limit. Perhaps all this sounds crazy, but I am convinced that within the governments there are people knowing and being aware about the cheaper generic HCV drugs. Why don't they do something?
In Latvia people power changed the government's position on generics and now in Latvia everyone can import generics as long as they get the correct documentation and can prove that the generics are licensed. It is a simple thing and saves the Latvian Health System millions and millions of euros.
Now going back to HCV generic drugs: Egypt treated already 850000 people with generics ( http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2016/07/28/hepatitis-c-patients-waiting-list-now-treated-ministry-health/) and the success rate using locally produced Sovaldi based drugs was 97% ( http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-07/29/c_135547944.htm). Shall we still have doubts that HCV generics really work???
So, what reasons, apart from greed and hypocrisy, might exist that the pharma companies and patient association avoid talking about the solution provided by the generic drugs and continue to make pressure on the government to increase the funds to buy the expensive branded medicines? There are no reasons for not using generics on a large scale...
So yes, thinking from this perspective, I do believe your blog about WHA is true.
with best regards
I would like to add to the above comments that Romania has very favorable laws for the importation of generic Hepatitis medicines for personal use. When I first started helping people in Romania to import Hep C meds (more than a year ago now) the hardest thing was to find a Romania doctor who would write a prescription, which is a requirement of Romania's import laws.
However over the last year more and more Romanian doctors have heard how effective the generic Hep C treatments are and it is getting easier for people in Romania with Hep C to get that prescription.
However if the Romanian government actively assisted this process, as has happened in Latvia, many more Romanians with Hep C would be able to access treatment and this would take a lot of pressure off Romania's health services.
26th August 2016
Getting Generic Harvoni Into Canada
Every country on Earth has different rules about importing medicines for personal use. Some countries like the UK and Australia have rules that favour their citizens and other countries, like Canada and Serbia and Croatia, have rules that seem to be written for the sole benefit of increasing the profits of the big international pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead.
Canada's rules are that a Canadian person with Hepatitis C can not get medicines sent to them in Canada by courier or mail but can go to another country and buy generic Harvoni and bring it back to Canada.
This extremely stupid set of rules means that a Canadian person with Hep C and the money can simply fly to somewhere like Australia or India and buy their generic Harvoni or generic Sovaldi and then fly home and be cured. Totally legal and totally unfair because it means that Canadians with money can get rid of their Hep C but poor Canadians will just have to get sick and die!
There was one loop hole in Canada's rules that we managed to exploit for a short while, this loop hole allowed for Canadian doctor's or pharmacists to import generics direct and then give them to their patients.
Of course most doctors were happy to do this and we started sending generic Hep C medicines to Canada using this route.
However once we had managed to get a few shipments through to people in Canada this way Health Canada's autocratic officials heard about it (I guess they were told by Big Pharma's ghouls) and started blocking shipments sent by that method. I assume that they are puppets of Big Pharma or just stupid, unfeeling, self important bureaucrats. Anyway Health Canada succeeded in shutting down that pathway to health for its citizens.
But people are not just going to lay down and die when they know that there is a cure available but being blocked by their government.
So below is an interesting story about getting generic Hepatitis C treatment into Canada and how one clever Canadian found another loop hole and got his meds.
Thanks so much for your help in getting me my generic Harvoni into Canada.
Since you have asked me to write about my experience for the benefit of other people with Hepatitis C in Canada I'll try to sum up my "adventures with Harvoni in Canada", below is my story.
When I was confirmed to be hepatitis C positive late last year I already knew a little
about the extraordinary price of Harvoni (CAD $ 93.000) and need to obtain government assistance to buy Harvoni here in Canada. I applied for a local drug
assistance program called Trillium and to my surprise was quickly
approved. It was however impossible to get the meds actually bought. The
pharmacies couldn't process the prescription without "special government
Can you imagine my frustration, knowing that I had the disease and being approved for the program to get it and then being blocked by government red tape???
So I had to go generic or wait for the disease to destroy my liver.
I heard that Harvoni was produced on license in India for about
$ 1 ,500 but I'd have to go there and buy it manually as there is no courier
shipping of medicals allowed into Canada.
But I was too poor and too sick to travel so I started researching what possible options I had (apart from waiting to die). In that research I found Greg Jefferys, an amazing guy, who bought the generic Harvoni for me in India and then had it shipped to me using a loop hole in Canada’s shipping rules. According to Canada's own rules doctors or pharmacists could import drugs so we shipped it to my doctor who didn't mind getting involved.
However when it arrived in Canada the shipment got blocked by Health Canada.
Apparently, there was more to these rules that we didn't know about.
The doctor had to apply for a "special access program" and argue for the
reason to import the stuff.
My doctor then did that out of the goodness of his heart, knowing that I had no other options.
Of course, it didn't work, either the red tape was so thick or Health Canada so disinterested in the health of its citizens, they refused to allow my doctor access to life saving medicines and the parcel was sent back to India. In India the Indian Customs people refused to allow the parcel to be returned to its sender and this valuable parcel of life saving medicines was destroyed and thrown into a garbage bin.
I as mentioned earlier I am not a rich man and I purchased these medicines with borrowed money.
I was shattered because I had no way of raising that money again. What a waste of good money and a good medicine!
Now listen to this: Greg and his partner from India then volunteered
to finance my second attempt! They would pay for everything, the medicines, the freight and everything, at no cost to me at all.
This time I got smart. I found one of the companies that facilitate
Canadian cross border shoppers with P.O. boxes and addresses.
Here I will explain a bit more about the cross border P.O. Box business, the Canadian secret.
Canadians love to shop in USA. More choice and everything is cheaper than in Canada.
Of course Canadian Customs does their best to slow this business down and add cost. Then some smart people came up with concept of providing both a P.O. Box and an address. This meant that people from Canada could buy stuff online from the USA and have that shipped to a P.O. Box just across the border, then just drive down and pick it up and drive home.
Greg had already told me that it was easy to get generics sent to the USA and if I had an address there then it would be no problem.
So that's what I decided to do to get my "undeliverable" Harvoni.
I registered with a company like this and had the generic Harvoni shipped there to the USA P.O. Box from India. Because the shipment is tracked I knew when to drive down to pick it up from the warehouse (5 min from the border crossing, 2 hrs from Toronto where I live) and took it across the border back home.
I drove to the pickup point right at the customs bridge on US side, got the stuff, paid $5 and went back home. Yup, Canadian Hep C'ers that's the way to do it. I wish I knew this earlier instead wasting almost a year for begging on the phone and getting sicker and sicker.
Now I have started treatment and am on the way to recovery all because of the kindness of two men, a man in Australia and another man in India, both of whom I have never met and who have done more to help me that the heartless officials of Health Canada will ever do.
Happy recovery to all of us!
My sincere thanks
27th August 2016
Big Pharma's Growing Greed and the sad consequence of the sick and the poor.
So what are the people people who run the big pharmaceutical companies like Gilead actually on about? The answer is profits, profits and more profits.
This answer is easily proved without even looking at Gilead's greed because obscene greed is becoming a feature of the pharmaceutical industry. For example Michael Pearson, the current CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, recently said that his company’s responsibility was to its shareholders not to his company's customers who rely on Valeant's drugs to live.
For example Valeant recently purchased the medicine Zegerid, which is used by patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and then they promptly raised its price 550%.
Turing Pharmaceuticals, and its then-chief executive Martin Shkreli, raised the price of the drug Daraprim, which treats life-threatening parasitic infections, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
Then there is the recent rise from $90 to over $600 for EpiPens.
EpiPens are used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions from bee stings, food allergies or other triggers. Mylan has a near monopoly on the product, which sufferers must replace every year.
Heather Bresch, the CEO of the Mylan, the pharmaceutical company behind the price hike has been widely vilified as a result of this outrageous profit grab but she does not seem too worried as her take home pay for the year has risen to nearly $18,000,000. Too bad for all the people who die because they can not afford to buy an EpiPen.
So whilst Big Pharma is ripping the money out of people's pockets, out of National Health programs, out of health insurance companies, they are also trying to block peoples access to affordable medicines.
In recent weeks Big Pharma has been trying to block shipments of generics out of India, primarily focused on generic Hep C medicines. They are trying to stop people who can not afford to pay the outrageous prices being asked for the new Hepatitis C medicines in places like Europe and the Americas from accessing affordable generic treatment.
I received the email below from an Indian friend of mine who exports generic medicines out of India.
I just read your post on your blog about the generic meds being blocked by Indian customs . Are your other suppliers also experiencing the same in Mumbai or New Delhi? Do you have any other experience of other suppliers to share. Why I ask this is to get a fair idea about the situation and check about the possibility of using my own lobby in the government . Apparently this has been working for me to some small extent. They're not allowing a lot of my consignments to go but they're allowing small parcels like only one parcel a day as of now and maybe that will increase once everything cools down with the pressure they have from Gilead.
It's absolutely strange to see that I never came across such problems in last 10 months and now they've also got their officers changed . The amount of struggle I've been putting in last 3 weeks to get this problem sorted just so I can send medicines to sick people is incredible . I spent hours at the customs and drug authorities office trying to understand what actually makes them block these parcels which are life saving medicines to numerous people . It's a sad story in India where people with authority blatantly misuse their power to their personal advantage.
I have gone to the lengths and the breadths of convincing different officers. I have been successful to a great extent , but it pisses me off to see people being denied of access to something which is critical to them being cured of a disease and regaining their health, which is their fundamental right . I urge you to freely spread this message on your blog , so more and more people are aware about this situation created in India and Gilead's greed comes out more openly into public knowledge.
All my best
28th August 2016
One Year Since End Of Treatment.
It is now one year since I completed 12 weeks of generic Indian Sofosbuvir + Ribavirin treatment for my G2 Hepatitis C. It is now one year that I have been completely clear of the Hep C virus as a result of being able to go to India and buy generic Sofosbuvir.
At the time I commenced treatment my liver enzymes were through the roof and with an ALT of over 800 the doctors I saw were pretty sure I had liver cancer.
Luckily I did not and now my ALT hovers around 20, or lower, and my liver has gone from borderline cirrhosis to F1.
All thanks to Indian generic Sofosbuvir.
I guess in the past year I have directly helped a few thousand people access generic Hep C treatment and indirectly a few more than that, but it is a drop in the ocean.
Around the world there are more than 200 million people with Hep C. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents all of whom could be easily and cheaply cured if they had access to generic treatment.
But they do not have access because of these things:
1. A grossly corrupt pharmaceutical industry
2. Corrupt government agencies
3. Corrupt medical establishments
4. Corrupt advocacy groups
So every year hundreds of thousands of people will suffer and die because there are people in positions of power and influence who care more about advancing their careers and accumulating personal wealth than they do about the suffering of their fellow humans.
So it has been a very intense year and this week I arrived at something of a cross roads in my life, part of which was that I decided that I needed to completely withdraw from my PhD in order to focus on the Hep C treatment issues. Previously I had thought that taking a year off would be enough however I have realised that I need to focus 100% on the problem of affordable and accessible Hep C treatment.
So this week I officially withdrew completely from University, quit my PhD, and it was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders, I no longer felt as though my mind was divided between my Hep C work and my PhD studies. I was actually surprised how relieved I felt.
The other thing that stands out from this week is a very deep and intimate conversation I had with a person who was treated with Interferon a couple of years back and who suffered terrible side effects that included a considerable amount of permanent physical and mental damage.
The extent of the damage really shocked me even, though it is a story I have heard many times before from other people who had been treated with Interferon, this particular conversation was the first time I had really gone into the exact details of how much damage Interferon can cause.
And yet in the UK and many other countries the medical Establishment still use Interferon to treat people with Hep C... because it is cheap and the pharmaceutical companies have a lot of stock to clear.
30th August 2016
Indian Generic Hep C Meds Get Even Cheaper.
This week I received some good news from India, that the prices of Gilead licensed generic Harvoni and generic Sofosbuvir and BMS licensed generic Daclatasvir had all dropped again.
The price for a 12 weeks treatment of licensed Generic Harvoni is now not more than US$1,000 including delivery to any place on Earth. Licensed generic Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir is also US$1,000 including delivery.
This is amazing news given that only 8 months ago exactly the same products cost upwards of US$2,000. Of course the branded versions still cost around $80,000.
So in the USA health insurance companies refuse to cover people with Hep C because they have to pay around US$80,000 for a 12 week treatment of Harvoni. Yet it is possible for US residents to import generic Harvoni or Sof and Daclatasvir for $1,000.
If doctors in the USA would give support to their patients.
The same applies in other countries around the world. If national Hepatitis advocacy groups put pressure on their governments to improve access to generic Hep C treatment millions more people would be treated each year. But this does not happen because most of the advocacy groups are simply puppets of Big Pharma with the people running them more concerned about advancing their own careers than doing what is truly best for people with Hep C.
So around the world people are dieing because Big Pharma continues to hold entire populations to ransom with exorbitant prices that are out of the reach of most people while governments prevent their citizens from accessing generics. This is genocide.