Sunday, May 28, 2017

It Takes A Village - Hepatitis C in Cambodia & Generic DAAs In India

 It Takes A Village - Hepatitis C in Cambodia & Generic DAAs In India
The good news? New hepatitis C drugs have an average of over a 90% cure rate. The bad news? Unfortunately treatment is not available to everyone.

The Bad And Better News
In the United States cost and restrictions to HCV therapy remain a barrier, according to a national review of Medicaid restrictions for HCV medications, access to treatment has improved since 2014, but still is restricted in many Medicaid programs, read the full report published over at Healio. Globally, access is improving, however in 2015 only a small number of patients undergoing HCV treatment received newer drugs; "While the cumulative number of persons treated for HCV reached 5.5 million in 2015, only about half a million of these persons had received the newer, more effective and better tolerated class of drugs called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). There were more new HCV infections than patients who were started on treatment in 2015." according to WHO's Global hepatitis report, 2017. In other news, March of this year WHO prequalified the generic active pharmaceutical ingredient of sofosbuvir.

Of Interest
May 29
Importance of Getting Tested for Hepatitis C
Source - Health Professional Radio
Segment overview: Dr. Douglas Dietrich and former Hepatitis C patient, Bob Rice, discuss the importance of getting tested for Hepatitis C.  

Guests: Dr. Douglas Dieterich and Bob Rice
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Douglas Dieterich is currently Professor of Medicine in the Division of Liver Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and also Director of The Institute for Liver Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System , New York, NY. Dr. Dieterich graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT and received his Doctorate of Medicine from New York University of Medicine in NY.  He became Clinical Assistant Professor of medicine and then a Clinical Professor of Medicine, both at the New York University.  He remains as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.

Bob Rice is a former hepatitis C patient who, after undergoing multiple rounds of treatment and a liver transplant, has been cured of his disease. He also works as a HepC/HIV educator at Hope House in Boston, MA.

It Takes A Village
Across the globe dedicated men and women make a huge impact in the lives of people battling HCV. Today we hear from just a small handful of these people, bloggers, who take us along on their inspirational journey helping patients access life saving treatment and care.

Theresa Chan, is a physician treating hepatitis C patients at MSF's clinic in Cambodia and Greg Jefferys, a well known advocate travels to India bringing awareness to affordable generic versions of hepatitis C direct acting antivirals. 

Theresa Chan

Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation. We offer assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.

Blog Updates
May 23
Theresa Chan
Hepatitis can be caused by different viruses. But what happens when a patient is infected with more than one? Theresa blogs from Cambodia...

May 18
Theresa Chan
Fighting Hepatitis in Cambodia: The Rock and the Hard Place
Midway through my first week in the hepatitis C clinic, a patient was urgently triaged for an MD evaluation. He arrived on foot, but only with the support of his son and his daughter.
There was an unfocused quality to his gaze and the whites of his eyes were yellow.
“How long has he been sick?” I asked his daughter, because he couldn’t answer me himself. He just blinked at me and nodded, with his eyes averted as if he were listening intently to his own, opaque thoughts....

May 25
Hepatitis C in Cambodia
Doctors Without Borders / MSF-USA
"The majority of our patients are pretty poor, so this is a hardship for them to have to come all the way to Phnom Pehn to get treated for hepatitis C, but they are doing it," said Dr. Theresa Chan. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been delivering treatment to patients with hepatitis C in Phnom Penh since October 2016. Due to the overwhelming needs, and this being the only free screening and treatment available in the city, MSF has been prioritizing those with the greatest risk of developing severe and fatal forms of the disease. Many more people need these drugs, and the exorbitant price charged for them must be addressed.

Recommended Reading
Blogs, photos and stories from the front line of MSF's emergency medical work

Greg Jefferys

Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 2010, Hep and Hep Magazine are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.

May 23

In The News - Greg Jefferys
What started as “medical tourism” to India turned into a social mission for him as he became the go-to person for patients who wanted cheaper Hep C drugs. Before he knew it, Jefferys had created a buyers club, helping patients buy generic versions of Sofosbuvir. In his personal blog, Jefferys documents the entire process of accessing the generic version to generating a prescription from doctors, to reaching out to a trusted supplier in India to buy the drugs in great detail...

Blog Updates
May 15
The Shoot
By Greg Jefferys
The primary purpose of my visit to India this year was twofold, to meet up with my associates here and to attempt to increase global awareness of Indian generic DAAs as a viable and affordable treatment option for people around the world who are infected with Hepatitis C.

This morning, before I went out wandering in the Chor Bazaar I had a meeting with a journalist from the Economic Times of India, a national Indian newspaper.

This journalist’s specialty is pharmaceuticals and we discussed why it is that, even though Indian and Bangladesh generic treatments for Hep C are readily available, effective and (relatively) cheap, so few people with Hep C in the West know this and so few medical professionals make their patients aware of this option.

By Greg Jefferys
Today I am flying from Singapore to Mumbai on my second trip to India in two years. But it is a very different journey to the one I undertook in April 2015. This time I am not a sick and desperate man travelling to India infected with Hepatitis C to try to buy generic Sovaldi, which was my only hope for survival.

This time I am cured of Hep C and am flying to India as part of a team effort to try to increase global awareness of the effectiveness and affordability of Indian generics for the treatment of Hepatitis C.
Part One -  India: Day One
Part Two - India: Day Two

Related Articles On This Blog
HCV generics

Helpful Links
Premier Hepatitis C Websites, Blogs and Support Forums

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