Monday, May 22, 2017

Gilead warns against Hep C drugs from buyers clubs, says patients may be at risk

Gilead warns against Hep C drugs from buyers clubs, says patients may be at risk
Vikas Dandekar
California-headquartered Gilead Sciences has warned against the use of generic versions of its blockbuster Hepatitis C drugs procured by patients directly through “buyers clubs.” A disruptive phenomenon, dozens of buyers clubs have mushroomed in recent years that enable supply of generic lifesaving medicines to thousands of patients afflicted with the fatal liver ailment....

In its latest May 9 regulatory filings in Form 10K at the US Securities Exchange Commission, Gilead said it is aware of the existence of various “buyers clubs” around the world, adding that through personal importation of such medicines, patients may be at risk of taking unapproved medications which may not be what they purport to be, may not have the potency they claim to have or may contain harmful substances....

James Freeman, Founder at FixHepC, a buyers club based in Australia, countered the claims made by Gilead about the safety issues. Freeman agreed that supply chain integrity is vital in ensuring patients received correct medicines....
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May 22, 2017 03:56 PM IST | Source:

Of Interest - Updated
May 23 2017 : The Economic Times (Bangalore)
Two Aussies Cheerlead for Indian Hep C Generic Drugs
Divya Rajagopal
Mumbai:  INDIAN BUYERS CLUB A survivor and a doctor provide patients affordable alternatives of newly discovered drugs with high cure rates
Remember Ron the rodeo cowboy from the Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club?
The biopic portrayed the story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient in the mid-1980s who signed up for an experimental AIDS treatment movement. He smuggled unapproved drugs into Texas for treating his symptoms and distributed them to fellow patients at a time when the disease was highly stigmatised. There's now an Australian parallel, of sorts, with an Indian twist.

Australian Greg Jefferys, 62, is the unlikely protagonist of this story . Himself a Hepatitis C survivor, Jefferys has become a Ron for several who suffer from the potentially fatal viral infection. And just like Ron, who didn't back off in the face of resistance from US regulators, Jefferys' crusade has been equally relentless.
Link to research and news articles addressing the high cost of hepatitis C drugs; insurance restrictions - private insurers/Medicaid - and availability of generic versions/India, Egypt and other lower-income countries or through online "buyers clubs"

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