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BIG PHARMA’S DRUGS FOR HEPATITIS C DO NOT EXTEND LIFE OR IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE
Lawrenceville, NJ (Dr Simone) – Millions of people around the world have hepatitis C that can cause severe liver disease, liver cancer, and death. Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for chronic hepatitis C can eradicate hepatitis C virus from the blood from 54.1% in untreated people to 23.8% in those who were treated. This is only a blood test. Doctors are told in sponsored seminars that the hepatitis C drugs actually cure the disease. But according to the drug insert: “Cure means the Hep C virus is not detected in the blood when measured three months after treatment is completed.”
However, a 2017 Cochrane review of 138 randomized trials shows that these drugs do not extend life or improve the quality of life (1).
The cost for a 12 week course of treatment for sofosbuvir and daclatasvir (2 DAAs) is outrageous in the US compared to other countries:
$96,000 in USA
$77,000 in United Kingdom
$78 in India – that’s right seventy-eight dollars
The Playbook is virtually always the same for Big Pharma. Make a drug that alters something, in this case the amount of hepatitis C virus in the blood. Get papers published in excellent journals, like the New England Journal of Medicine. Pay “thought leaders” (physicians) to read verbatim the PowerPoint slides provided by Big Pharma touting the drug’s effects. Pay doctors to listen to these “seminars.” And some doctors prescribe the drug.
1. Jakobsen JC, Nielsen E, Feinberg J et al. Direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C.() Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017; 6
© 2017 Charles B Simone, M.MS., M.D.