Hepatitis C: New hope for patients

A non-profit organisation is making headway in its initiative to develop drugs for neglected diseases to benefit those who can’t afford them. New Sunday Times speaks to two medical practitioners who are working towards making affordable Hepatitis C treatment available to local hospitals. OF the estimated 150 million people infected with chronic Hepatitis C around the world, approximately 75 per cent live in low- to middle-income countries. However, som

The Week in Review: March 31, 2017 – April 7, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017 News Recap Canada Effective April 2017, Alberta Health has expanded access to treatments for hepatitis C in line with what the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Québec have just done (Alberta expands drug coverage for hepatitis C patients). As Dr. Shafran, who is clearly worried about continued restrictions, says, “The funders have now opened the doors to let us treat people with mild liver disease … if ...

Wiping out hepatitis C: Alberta doctor explains access to game-changing drug for patients

More Albertans suffering from hepatitis C will receive treatment thanks to public funding for new therapies, says Stephen Shafran, a University of Alberta professor of medicine who specializes in the virus. He spoke Wednesday to Postmedia about a game-changing drug and how Alberta can help eradicate hepatitis C. Here’s a condensed, edited version the interview. Q: Alberta Health has made the drug Epclusa available to more patients. The treatment is a p

B.C. won’t cover hepatitis C drug that’s possible cure for woman infected with tainted blood

Lack of national pharmacare program makes it hard to negotiate better drug prices. The B.C. government says it won't cover the cost of a breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C for Nikky Davies, who contracted the virus through tainted blood she was administered in hospital. A Nanaimo, B.C., woman who contracted the hepatitis C virus through tainted blood has been denied a blockbuster new medication the province says is extremely expensive and would bankru

Large global range of prices for hepatitis C medicines raises concerns about affordability

The prices and affordability of recently developed and highly effective direct-acting antivirals for treating hepatitis C (HCV) vary greatly among countries worldwide, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine. Suzanne Hill and colleagues from the World Health Organization undertook an economic analysis of prices for a 12-week course of treatment with sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir in 30 countries - mostly European as well as Egypt...

Abbotsford man cured of hepatitis C by new, expensive treatment

An Abbotsford man wants the provincial government to fund more people to receive the medication that cured him of chronic hepatitis C, a viral liver disease. Chris Robinson, 56, said it looked like he was on his way to receiving a long-awaited liver transplant to save his life last year when doctors told him, “Transplant? Remove it from your vocabulary.” At the time, Robinson had been in the midst of a six-month course of a relatively new treatment that

Generic Hepatitis C Drugs as Effective as Pricey Brand Names: Study

SATURDAY, April 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Low-cost generic antiviral drugs are as effective and safe as more expensive brand-name drugs in treating people with hepatitis C, researchers report. In many countries, people don't have access to a course of brand-name direct-acting antiviral drugs due to the high cost -- as much as $94,000 a patient, the researchers explained. However, mass-produced generic versions are available for less than 1 percent...

Desi generics firms pave way for cheaper hepatitis C drug

If scaling up HIV treatment globally was made possible by Indian generics companies, it looks like they are set to repeat this feat with hepatitis C treatment. In a recent paper published in a medical journal, academics working on drug pricing calculated that the generic sofosbuvir and daclatasvir combination used to treat hepatitis C could be produced for as little as $200 per patient per 12-week course. The same combination could cost almost $150,000 per