Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Main Forums => Living with Hepatitis C => Topic started by: cementjungle on April 08, 2017, 01:21:52 am

Title: Taking the plunge
Post by: cementjungle on April 08, 2017, 01:21:52 am
Hi all... brand new here, and glad I found this forum!

I was dx back around 2002 (Geno 1A). Probably had Hep C for 29-30 years prior. I was a heavy drinker probably for 25 years prior to dx, but stopped cold turkey the day I learned I had Hep C (and had a really rough week in the process). For years after diagnoses I went for regular checkups with a top Hep doc at UCLA who kept telling me to wait for a cure to come out of the pipeline. He said l would probably die from something other than the Hep C (as long as I didn't drink), so I should wait rather than do the brutal Interferon type treatments.

Now we have these new drugs, so I've been waiting for the pricing to come down... Harvoni is still $94K for a 12 week course. Ouch.

I went to a gastro doc who claims her office can get good deals and I should give it a shot... so I did the liver sonogram and just today did all the blood tests/drug test.

I have no idea what kind of cost reduction I can expect or hope for... I certainly can't afford $94K... something like $20-30K *might* be doable, put painful... especially if it doesn't work.

Do most folks here get decent/affordable reductions in costs through their insurance, or should I assume that I'm going to be looking at $50K or more no matter what?

Also, if the treatment fails to cure, then can my situation (other than financial) actually be worse as a result? Can it make the HEP C get angry and do more damage/faster?

As it stands now, my liver functions are only slightly out of whack and the sonogram came back "fine" whatever that means. I don't think I have any ill-effects from the Hep C, but I don't have the energy I did when I was younger... I'm 61 now... so maybe age is more a factor than anything.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: Lynn K on April 08, 2017, 03:03:38 am
Do you have insurance?  Insurers are getting better about paying for treatment than they were when these medicine first came out. With assistance from Giliead and their copay coupon my copay was $5 per refill.


If you don't have insurance there have been some here who got generic meds from overseas I think maybe $1000 per refill maybe less but that should be a back up plan not plan "A" in my thinking.

Hep c is a silent illness with most people reporting few symptoms the most common is tiredness which is why the CDC is wanting baby boomers get tested for hep c as most people have no idea they are infected. Really the first symptom I noticed was some lower leg swelling (edema) caused by my cirrhosis which I developed after being infected for 30 years. My liver function tests were always just slightly above normal. There is no relationship between extent of liver damage and liver function tests or even viral load.

Cure rates are better than 98% and you can't make hep c angry if it does comeback. Worst case at least you gave your liver a 12 week break from being attacked. We have had a couple of people who failed initial treatment but were successfully retreated and cured later.

If you look at my signature you can see I was a 3 time treatment null responder to interferon based treatments. I also relapsed after treating with Sovaldi and Olysio. I also had cirrhosis for 7 years before my final treatment with Harvoni for 24 weeks and 15 weeks of ribavirin.

I am cured you will be too.