Diagnosed with Hep C after suddenly experiencing extreme, unexplained fatigue the author was faced with the prospect that he either had liver cancer or extreme cirrhosis of the liver. He was offered a treatment that included a cocktail of drugs based on Interferon. However after researching the Interferon therapy he found that it offered a cure rate of not much better than 50% and side effects that were so bad that up to half the people who started the treatment quit, preferring to risk liver cancer than endure the horrendous side effects of Interferon.
The author instead decided to manage his disease through life style and dietary changes while waiting for the arrival of a new generation of anti-viral drugs that were rumoured to be on the horizon.
However when the new drugs did eventually become available, Gilead’s Sofosbuvir, offering a 99% cure rate and almost no side effects, the price asked for them was an extraordinary US$1,000 per tablet. The average treatment would require between 84 and 168 tablets, or between US$84,000 and US$168,000 per treatment.
All around the world the more than 150 million people suffering from Hepatitis C saw their cure and at the same time saw that for most of them the cure was unaffordable.
Then, courageously, India refused to grant a patent on the new drugs and Indian manufacturers began to produce generic varieties for sale at one hundredth of the price that the drug was being sold in Western countries.
The author was the first person from the West to publicly go to India to source and buy generic Sofosbuvir for his own treatment. He kept a diary of his experiences and published it on the internet so that others could follow his path into India and know how to access this cheaper version of the life saving drug.
This story is an extension of the author’s diaries and journals, originally intended as a guide to purchasing generic Sofosbuvir in India, this expanded content takes the reader into the heart of India where ancient values and customs create a fierce independence from American and European social, economic and corporate pressures. Witty and exciting the story also contains tragic stories gleaned from the hundreds of emails the author has received from people who have Hepatitis C themselves or who are supporting family members with the disease.
It is an inspiring read.