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Treating Hep C: Effective but Expensive

August 10, 2016

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Epclusa is the latest antiviral drug to get FDA approval. However, like other Hepatitis C medications, it comes with a price.

New Drugs Part of a New Front in Treating Hepatitis C

Written by Rose Rimler on July 12, 2016

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved another in a series of medicines that have dramatically changed the outlook for those diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Epclusa is a single pill taken once a day for 12 weeks. It is the first drug to clear all six strains of the virus in up to 99 percent of patients.

It also is the latest direct acting antiviral — a drug that stops the virus from replicating itself. Previous drugs worked by helping the body fight off the infection.

Before these antivirals became available in 2013, treatments for hepatitis C were only moderately effective. Their side effects, which included depression, anemia, and flu-like symptoms, were often worse than the early stages of the disease itself.

“I was so ill I just ended up telling myself that I could make it through one hour and then the next,” wrote commenter N. V. on the website Hepatitis Central, describing the side effects of the old medications. “All I know is that I had a better life before the treatment than I have now and I was a lot stronger.”

Faced with such side effects and given the fact that the infection can be asymptomatic for years, many patients chose to just wait until something better came along.

Continue reading this entire article:
http://www.healthline.com/health-news/new-drugs-part-of-front-in-treating-hepatitis-c

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HepatitisCentral.com provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at HepatitisCentral.com will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Mary Thomas

    I am on my 4th week of Diklinza (spelling? My bottle at home/me at work) and savolti. I have not experienced any side effects that I can tell. Has anyone done same treatment and been cured?

    • Chris Marsh

      I recently returned from India, where I started Sovaldi and Mydacla,(generic daklinza). No side effects either, I’m not through 1st bottle, current viral load “NOT DETECTED”, before meds was 5670000. From what I’ve read, I expect a cure,

      • Mary Thomas

        I am not sure of the numbers of my viral load, just that they were “very low” I am so excited to be cured! I do think I have been experiencing some insomnia, hard to tell since I have a 4 month old baby. Tomorrow will mark my 5th week of this 12 wk treatment. I will go back to test Jan 11 to see if it is cured, I will post here, you please do the same!

        • Chris Marsh

          Congrats Mary, I share your excitement! Do 4mth Olds cause insomnia? – very likely. Keep in touch!

          • Mary Thomas

            LOL yeah I think mine does 🙂 Will do! Thanks Chris

    • Kathy

      How much did it cost and how did you know who to go see in India?

      • Mary Thomas

        I understand the cost of my combo is 59,000. I have insurance that approved it thank God here in the US

      • Chris Marsh

        Kathy
        Before I went to India, I purchased an online manual about getting generic harvoni in India. There was lists of Drs and pharmacies around India, an (Indian) Dr friend of my brother looked on line and gave me a couple names. I looked over their biographies and made an appointment. Think I paid about $1500 for meds.

  • Rock Roll

    After 4 weeks treatment of EPCLUSA I have no hcv detected and liver enzymes went from 12 times normal to back in the normal range. I have had this at least 8 years before treatment. Genotype 2B.

    • Too young to die

      I have Geno 2b and have no insurance and just lost my job don’t know how I can get epclusa now 😢 I was told by Gi dr my viral load is 5,000,000 high rage . I just found out I have this disease a month ago . I have been crying everyday and all alone and scared . Any help for me ?

      • addison

        First of all, don’t panic. In many people the HepC virus stays dormant for many years – even decades. If you currently have no symptoms, take reasonable precautions such as ~ stop drinking alcohol immediately if you do partake. Clean up your diet. The stress from job loss is detrimental to anyone’s health, so try to walk at least 1/2 hour a day or do some form of light exercise. Then get online and begin to research clinical trials. You say you are “too young” to die, so the assumption is you are nowhere near Medicare age. I just read on this site where Social Security Administration will approve some HepC patients for SSI Disability benefits. Approval of SSI benefits automatically enrolls you in Medicaid which will cover EPCLUSA with a high viral load. Get busy. Be sure you have both digital and hard copies of your HepC test results as all organizations will require documentation. Good luck.

  • Kindness is Sexy

    A caring legitimate group of practitioners in Australia have a website FixHepC. They use generics that are at least 90 percent effective in certain genotypes. The cost is less than $2000 for a 12 week treatment plan. Please contact them if you are in need.

  • addison

    I am on week 4 of Harvoni. Have had zero side effects. Going for a blood test on Monday to monitor results. Medicare is covering the cost.

    First jar of meds delivered by hand by courier: 28 tablets – $31,485.00 – nearly fainted when I saw the price tag although I knew the cost is astronomical. To think the generic is sold for $1500 in India vs $95,000 in US is surreal. I will check back when I get blood test results. Good luck to everybody 🙂