Cost for hepatitis C drugs going down–way down?

I’ve been away from this blog for a while. That’s good news for people who have hepatitis C. I was among the first few patients to receive direct-acting antivirals in 2014. Within six weeks my viral count was nearly nothing. In six months, it was nothing. In another six months, my liver, which had been on the edge of cirrhosis, was back to normal.

The good news about dragging my feet on writing this blog? It’s that a few years after being cured some people can almost forget that they ever had hepatitis C. *

Occasionally, though, something brings the disease back to top-of-mind. That happened today, and it was good news.

An anti-viral under development in Egypt purports a 100 percent cure rate. Better yet, the price of the 12-week treatment from Pharco Pharmaceuticals is predicted to be $300. Think of the progress in that! When I was treated, Gilead Sciences set a $120,000 price tag on my drugs. My book, Demon in My Blood, reveals that the cost of production was actually more like the $300 drug being developed today.

Better news may come in a decade. The World Health Organization vows to eradicate hepatitis C from the earth by 2030. If so, the drugs will cost nothing.

 * Many people suffer lingering effects after being cured of hepatitis C. I’ve written about their struggles in the past and hope for their full return to health.


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