Hepatitis C Blog

Greg Jefferys Hepatitis C blog deals with all the issues associated with hepatitis C

Hep C treatment in the Philippines

Hep C Treatment in the Philippines

A large part of my work is helping people with Hepatitis C in “third world” countries. By third world, I mean countries where the bulk of the population lives in relative poverty. That is to say they have no disposable income, their total income is used meeting the basic costs of living such as food and shelter. In many of these countries, the bulk of the population will be earning considerably less than US$50 per week. For such people even the purchase of generic Hep C medicine is impossible at normal prices. So I subsidize the cost of the Hep C medication.

The Philippines is one such country. Most Filipinos earn between US$40 and US$60 per week, many earn less than that:

The average salary in the Philippines was PHP 161,847.60/year (US$3,218).

As an example, a Filipino working as a retail assistant in a hardware store will have a salary of about 2,424 pesos per week.  That’s about US$50 per week, all of which is used to provide food and shelter.

Another example is from a Filipino construction worker who supports himself and his mother on his wage:

My weekly salary as a laborer sir is 1200 pesos (US$25 per week).

If you have the skills is an advantage because the salary for that is around 450 pesos per day. But I have no special skills so mine is only 250 pesos per day sir. In the community sir, it depends on the minimum wage per company. On the other hand, office workers have a higher salary.

To put that in perspective a Hep C Viral Load test in the Philippines will cost about 10,000 pesos (about US$200), this equates to a full month’s wages. A genotype test is about the same price. So to get a Hep C genotype test and a viral load test would cost 2 months’ wages. In the Philippines, it’s possible to buy Mylan’s generic Hep C medication from pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. However, the price is around US$1,000 for a 12 week supply of Mylan’s generic Harvoni ( MyHep LVIR).

As in most third world countries access to medical procedures and treatment is extremely difficult, or impossible, for poor people.

Unfortunately, in many cases, doctors are guilty of exploiting poor patients who often spend their entire life savings and then borrow money to try to access treatment.

Too often doctors in third world countries make additional profits from selling the medication directly to patients or taking a substantial commission from the pharmacist who supplies it. on top of the profiteering many doctors in third world countries prescribe the wrong medicine for Hep C patients.

I would guess I get at least 3 or 4 inquiries every week from people from people who have been prescribed Harvoni for their Hep C but who do not know the genotype of Hep C they have. Harvoni is only a good treatment for Hep C genotype 1 and 4. If the genotype is not known then a pan-genotype treatment is the correct prescription.


Good day sir Greg! I hope you’ll take time to read this message. I’m from Philippines specifically located in Cebu. My partner has HEPC. He already undergo some lab test. His doctor prescribed him a medicine(SOFOSBUVIR + ledipasvir) which isn’t available here in Cebu City. I went whole day in many drug stores here but unfortunately they don’t have that kind of medicine. I checked your page and hopefully seeking help from you. Sir I would like to ask if you can provide him this SOFOSBUVIR (Ledipasvir) meds in a reasonable price because we’re just only a middle class individual. Looking forward for you positive response sir Greg and thank you!

For a more detailed examination of the processes and costs involved getting Hepatitis C treatment in the Philippines please click here.


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Greg Jefferys

Greg Jefferys

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