Hep C Treatment Update

April 11, 2014

Mixed PillsYou might be aware that’s there’s a far more successful Hep C treatment coming to the market. With a 90% cure rate, (and fewer reported side-effects, so far) it’s far and away better than previous Hep C treatments.

But a lot of research went into it, so despite the less than $150 cost for treatment, it’s about $84,000—or $1000 per pill, per day.

You know how I’ve been saying it would be nice if they realized they could have more patients, lower the cost, and keep their profits? WHO’s right there with me. The World Health Organization is calling for more testing to drum up more patients worldwide who would need the treatment, and hopefully lower the cost per patient.

In the US, it’s baby boomers who are likely walking around undiagnosed. A bunch of factors—including the medical community just not knowing better about needles—led to an entire generation at a much higher risk for Hep C. So if you were born between 1945 and 1965, it’s strongly recommended you get tested. If you’re a boomer with Hep C, you’ve likely not experienced symptoms so far, but you’re coming up to a point where time and a weakening immune system will likely start to show symptoms—which include various signs of liver damage.

I want to add that I don’t think WHO goes far enough. They compare their efforts with Hep C to those of HIV. While HIV treatment only costs about $100 a year abroad, it’s still thousands of dollars here in the US. While I understand why the US market pays more (it’s our companies doing the research), this is one case where the cost is pretty extreme.

What are your thoughts on the new Hep C treatment?

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