Wednesday, October 21, 2015

'Dallas Buyers' Club' for Hep C treatments under investigation

'Dallas Buyers' Club' for Hep C treatments under investigation
Jane Lee

A "Dallas Buyers Club" of doctors and patients importing potentially life-saving Hepatitis C medication from countries like China is being investigated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The FixHepC Buyers Club, established in September, helps patients with a doctor's prescription import and test the drugs for their personal use for cheaper rates from China and India. Visits to the group's website soared from 5000 to more than 217,000 in its first week after a Fairfax Media report.

Labor Senator Jan McLucas asked Department of Health representatives about the practice at a senate estimates hearing on Wednesday night: "What is the TGA's position on doctors establishing a so-called Dallas Buyers' Club to bypass the Pharmaceutical Benefits' Scheme and import drugs such as Harvoni and Sovaldi from China?"

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, a deputy secretary of the Department, said that the TGA was investigating the lawfulness of the importation and the advertising of such drugs.

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