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...

What price a miracle? Limited access to hepatitis-C drug sparks debate

WASHINGTON – Jose Robles is the picture of health. And because of that, he has to remain sick, even though new drugs would likely cure him of the disease he’s had since birth. Robles, born with hepatitis C, is currently asymptomatic, but when he tried to enlist in the Marines, they turned him down because his ailment made him a “liability.” Determined to make good on a promise to his honorably discharged brother, Robles spoke with his doctor who quickly...

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

Hep C ‘viral time bomb’ can be defused, says doctor who set up real-life Dallas Buyers Club operation

It is financially feasible to defuse the hepatitis C "viral time bomb" affecting 150 million people worldwide, an international conference will hear on Saturday. The disease is one of the five major causes of infectious illness deaths in the world, along with malaria, TB, HIV, and hepatitis B. It kills 500,000 people a year, the World Health Organisation estimates, and prevents millions more from leading productive lives. Yet, only one in 300 of thos...

NZ: NZ scientist proves new drug to be a ‘silver bullet’ for Hepatitis C – so why isn’t it available to other Kiwis?

A New Zealand doctor has been running innovative drug trials that have given selected patients like Sarah the chance of a new life. But for the rest of the estimated 50,000 New Zealanders living with Hep C, there's still a long wait ahead for these drugs to be approved and then publicly funded.For Sarah, it was like "walking around in a marshmallow", a permanent hangover even though she had given up drinking 15 years earlier. She lived with it even before

Pricey hepatitis C drugs threaten health care system

When does Big Pharma profiting become profiteering? This issue was the subject last month of a Senate Finance Committee investigation of pricing practices of Gilead Sciences Inc., a leading provider of hepatitis C medications. After examining 20,000 pages of internal company documents, looking at Medicaid data and interviewing health care experts, the authors concluded that the Foster City drugmaker “pursued a calculated scheme for pricing and marketing it

The drug that costs more than $1200, and sells for $5 in India

The same hepatitis C drug that costs $US1000 in the US costs just $US4 in India. Outsiders don't want their daughters to marry any local boys, according to the village elders swapping stories in a tailor's shop behind the Sikh temple, because most residents are infected with "black jaundice".That's what they call hepatitis C, which is so common in parts of India's Punjab state that the tailor-shop gossips might not be off base in their estimate. But preval

Sofosbuvir/daclatasvir combination could be produced for $200 per hepatitis C cure

Month-by-month tracking of the prices paid in India for the chemicals used to make hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals shows that it is now possible to make and sell a combination of drugs to cure hepatitis C for less than $200, Dr Andrew Hill of Liverpool University told the Second European HIV Hepatitis Co-infection Conference in London last week.If those drugs were bought at list price in the United States they would cost approximately $147,000 for a 1

Expensive drugs that cure hepatitis C are worth the cost, even at early stages of liver fibrosis

It is worthwhile to give patients expensive new drugs that can cure their hepatitis C much earlier than some insurers are now willing to pay for them, according to a UC San Francisco study that models the effects of treating the disease early versus late in its development.Researchers said they were surprised by the findings, since the drugs can cost up to $100,000 for a full course of treatment. But when they factored in the long-term medical cost of dela