The Week in Review: May 19 – June 2, 2017

Friday, June 2, 2017 News Recap Boomers Should Be Tested Most of the HepC-related news last week from various agencies in the USA stressed the fact that Baby Boomers should be tested and that hepatitis C is a hidden and growing danger (GET TESTED: 1 in 30 baby boomers have Hepatitis C, 70 percent are unaware). In Canada voices of dissent can be heard regarding the federal government’s asinine decision NOT to test Boomers.  The decision was based ...

Hep C drug buyers’ club doctor hits out

An Australian doctor involved in a drug buyers’ club that has helped about 50 Otago people access life-saving medicine took a shot at pharmaceutical companies at a gathering in Dunedin last night. Tasmanian Dr James Freeman said pharmaceutical companies had been "having a lend" of the public purse through their pricing of drugs. Dr Freeman was in Dunedin for a "hepster hui" in Northeast Valley last night to celebrate a cure for the potentially fatal he

Should Generic DAAs Be More Widely Imported?

Even in high-income countries, patients can have problems getting the new but expensive direct acting antivirals that are so effective in treating hepatitis C. A recent article (free but you must register) written by Narcyz Ghinea, BSc, of the Center for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney in Australia, and several colleagues, and published in The Lancet, suggests that importing generics could be the answer. In Australia p

October 1: A Momentous Day for Many People Living with Hepatitis C in New Zealand

From October 1, GPs around New Zealand will start prescribing life-changing medication to many of the 50,000 people living with hepatitis C in New Zealand. Viekira Pak, a breakthrough treatment which was previously out of reach to ordinary New Zealanders, is now fully funded by Pharmac. The drug treats people with hepatitis C genotype 1 who have compensated disease, which is more than half of all New Zealanders living with the virus. Renowned liver spe

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: Kiwis join Australian hepatitis C buyers’ club

Growing numbers of New Zealanders are getting backdoor access to revolutionary hepatitis C drugs at a fraction of the cost.More than 90 percent of people treated with the drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni are cured of hepatitis C, which causes liver disease and autoimmune disorders, but at $NZ1500 per tablet the treatment is prohibitively expensive for most New Zealanders.The recommended 12-week course of the drugs costs more than $140,000.Although Pharmac is gett

Kiwi hepatitis C patients getting treatment from Australian drug buyers club

New Zealanders unable to afford the $100,000 price for hepatitis C medication have been offered a lifeline from an Australian Dallas Buyers Club-style operation.Dozens of Kiwis facing liver disease and a shortened life as a result of the virus have travelled to Australia to pick up wonder drugs with the help of Tasmanian doctor James Freeman.Freeman set up a Dallas Buyers Club-style operation in February 2015 to help Australian hepatitis C patients import

Real life Dallas Buyers Club operation helps hepatitis C patients with free drugs

A Dallas Buyers Club-style operation that helps hepatitis C patients get lifesaving drugs at knockdown prices plans to go a step further for World Aids Day on Tuesday – free drugs for those who can least afford them.Nearly a quarter of a million Australians carry hepatitis C, a "viral time bomb" that kills half a million people worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organisation.Yet a simple lifesaving fix – a course of one pill a day for 12 we