Hepatitis C Blog

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

Hepatitis C Treatment and Medicine In the Philippines

Cost of Hep C treatment for Filipinos

The Cost of Hepatitis C Treatment in the Philippines

Having Hepatitis C in the Philippines

Nowadays a lot of my work revolves around helping people living in low-income situations in wealthy countries and people with low incomes in more impoverished countries such as the Philippines and Nigeria to access affordable Hepatitis C treatment.

In these countries, people with Hepatitis C face the double barriers of the high cost of medicines and the high cost of Hep C testing.

For example in the Philippines, the cost of a genotype test is around US$200, about a total month’s wages. A Hep C viral load test in the Philippines will cost about the same, 10,000 pesos, (about US$200).

Based on WHO data the infection rate for Hepatitis C in the Philippines is a little less than 1% of the population, though data on this subject is difficult to sure of due to the heavy stigma associated with having Hep C in the Philippines.

Generic Hep C medicines, such as generic Harvoni, will cost around US$900, or about 4 months’ wages.

In cases like the Philippines and Nigeria, and actually, for anyone in a low-income situation anywhere, I supply generic Hep C meds at below my cost price, which is US$350 for a 12-week treatment.

To help you understand how difficult things are for average income earners in countries like the Philippines I would like to share the story below with you.

It was written at my request by a Filipina woman from Cebu who was desperate to get treatment for her partner how has chronic Hepatitis C as well as liver cirrhosis and jaundice. After being bled dry by the Philippines medical services, doctors, hospitals and pathology.

Getting Hepatitis C Treatment in the Philippines

Greetings!

I would like to share my story about having Hepatitis C in the Philippines, and also, at the same time, raise awareness regarding the struggle we’ve been through trying to get Hepatitis C treatment in the Philippines. Made especially difficult during these trying times of COVID 19.

My partner is a 42-year old man from Cebu in the Philippines, he works as a collector with a basic salary of 11,000 pesos a month, that’s about US$200 per month. Of his monthly wage, we are having a net of 2,000 pesos left over at the end of each month, more or less, after rent, food and other living expenses. So at the end of the payday we have about not much left. Unfortunately, he went through the medical services here in the past year and we had to take out loans to pay for these, so we do not have much left.

Hep C Symptoms

My partner’s Hepatitis C story started last year when I noticed him that he is always feeling weak, easily got tired, he always wants to sleep,. His urine colour became a very pale light red, and his skin colour turns yellow. He usually complained about the stomach pain but the day after he’ll be feeling a little better.

Then things became worse, it was on 14th of Nov. 2020, then starts the scariest part of my life when he is again complaining about the stomach pain but this time it is severe.

He has difficulties in breathing, he can’t stand alone, and he screams a lot. My body was shaking during those times and still remember my teary eyes as I try to help him in some ways.

I was asking God please do not take him, not now my Lord! I rushed him to the nearest public hospital; There they do some lab tests and tell him to buy prescribed medicine. We spent over 15,000 pesos that one time to visit the hospital.

The High Cost of Hepatitis C in Philippines Hospitals

Then on the other day, the doctor requested an ultrasound.

Days passed, the result came. The doctor said my partner had liver cirrhosis which was too shocking for us. He said the only way to cure him is to have a liver transplant or to die.

Like, what?

How can we afford to pay for a liver transplant?

No mention about Hepatitis C or the cause of the liver problems from this doctor.

Then on 7th day of Dec. 2020 we look for another opinion this time in a liver specialist.

The Liver doctor made another set of requests for lab tests which cost 2,000 pesos and another set of medicines that cost more or less 15,000

Then we come to the third week of Dec.

At this time the liver doctor requested an HCV RNA TEST that cost 9,500 pesos and the result came to us on Jan. 15th 2021.

Of course, we were hoping that the doctor will give us positive feedback that my partner’s liver is okay but it was a negative.

This is when we learn, finally, that my partner has Hepatitis C.  The doctor this time prescribed another set of medicine including 12 weeks of treatment with SOFOBUSVIR/LEDIPASVIR( generic Harvoni) @ cost of 39,000 pesos (about US$850) plus  LIVAMIN@92 pesos and NORMIX@110  pesos. We can’t afford to buy all this medicine especially the SOFOBUSVIR/LEDIPASVIR since we’re now financially unstable.

Hep C medicines Philippines

Generic Harvoni in the Philippines will cost about US$850, more than 4 months wages for the average Filipino

Who can survive Hepatitis C

Deep inside I do have some worries that what if my partner will be dead soon.

Is he really going to leave us?

Is there a possibility he’ll be cured?

What happened next if I we aren’t able to buy those expensive medicines?

It scares me a lot…

As of now while we can’t afford to buy his meds, and let him drink turmeric tea hoping and praying it can help support his condition though I know what he really needs right now is the Sofosbuvir medicine.

Searching For Hep C Information

Meanwhile, being desperate I began to search the internet for some information or help.

I was hoping to look for a group that might answers my questions or some testimony of an individual who has HCV or a living testimony of a HCV survivor individual through SOCIAL MEDIA.

I joined the Facebook group “HEPATITIS C TREATMENT CURE AND COMMUNITY” and noticed there that Mr. GREG JEFFERYS constantly giving advice from a post. I was very curious about him and checked his FB account and found out his blog about HCV. I felt so happy that I found the right man who can answer my questions!

Now Mr. Jefferys explained to me that he will supply Hepatitis C medicines to people of the Philippines for the total price of 15,000 pesos instead of 39,000 pesos.

He also explained to me that the medicine that the specialist liver doctor prescribed for my partner was not the best option.

He explained that Sofosbuvir + Ledipasvir was only a good treatment for Hepatitis C genotype 1. Because we could not afford a genotype test we did not know the genotype of Hepatitis C.

In this case Mr. Jefferys explained to me that Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir is a much better treatment option because it will cure all genotypes of Hepatitis C.

Now the medicines are in the mail to us and we are waiting for them to arrive in the Philippines and we hope it is not too late.

Salute to sir Greg Jefferys!

Thank you for taking time to read our story as we go forward to try to conquer this HCV!

God bless!

post script

We spent an estimated amount  of 15k money during our first visit in the public hospital including the laboratories and the medicines(Aminoleban, essentiale, vit e, K for potassium,etc.)

The whole abdomen ultrasound cost 1,500 pesos.

The specialist cost 500 pesos every visit. We already visit 4x and spent 2k already.

The medicine that the doctor prescribed includes *LIVAMIN, *ALDACTONE, *LACTULOSE, *HEPATIK, *NORMIX and the other one which I was not able to bought because it unavailable LOXEVA(don’t know if I read the right name of this).

The SOFOBUSVIR/LEDIPASVIR cost 13k/bottle of 28 pills, good only for 4 weeks treatment. My partner needs to have a 12 weeks treatment which is really impossible for us to afford that medicine as I mentioned in my first letter.

 

“Health is not just about what you’re eating. It’s als about what your thinking and saying”-unknown

https://www.pcp.org.ph/files/PJIM%20Vol53%20No1/The_2014_Hepatology_Society_of_the_Philippines_Consensus_Statements_on_the_Diagnosis_and_Treatment_of_Hepatitis_C.pdf

 

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Greg Jefferys

Greg Jefferys

1 Comment

  •    Reply

    Wow, I’m so glad to hear you’re in a better place now. Hopefully, you can spread the good work of Greg Jeffrey’ in the Phillipines, wishing you the very best on your life’s endeavors.

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