Greg Jefferys Hepatitis C blog deals with all the issues associated with hepatitis C
Since I started helping people to get generic Hepatitis C treatment I have wondered how GILEAD would respond to my activities.
I know that they do not like what I am doing but was I really making enough difference to their profits for them to worry about what I was doing? Over the last two years their response has been to ignore me. The fact was that the people I was helping were people who could not afford to buy their extraordinarily expensive product; people who did not have health insurance or lived in countries where there was no access to GILEAD’s Harvoni or Epclusa for whatever reason. So what I was doing would not really affect GILEAD’s obscenely huge annual profits.
One of the countries where I have been doing a lot of work over the past 18 months is Brazil. Brazil has very high numbers of people infected and most of these people struggle even to afford to pay the prices of the generic Hep C medicines, so there is no way that they could afford to pay US,000 for Harvoni or Epclusa.
So in Brazil, working with Brazilian doctors, I have been helping quite a few people access affordable Hep C treatment.
Then, yesterday, I received an email from GILEAD’s director of Legal Affairs in Brazil demanding that I stop supplying generic Harvoni and Epclusa to people with Hepatitis C in Brazil.
This was actually my first letter ever from GILEAD and I found it interestingly that it was not from the USA but from Brazil…
What should I do? Of course the natural initial response of anyone receiving a threatening email from a huge multinational company with a reputation for being ruthless is to shudder! So of course I shuddered and I thought about it for a while. So they want me to stop helping people Hepatitis C in Brazil from curing their disease?
People who have no way of accessing any other form of treatment.
People who will sicken and die if I do not help them.
GILEAD wants me to stop helping these people? Really?
So I thought about it… What might GILEAD do if I ignore them? Probably they will sue me. I am not a rich man, all I own is the house that I live in, I have no other assets. So GILEAD will sue me if I stop helping people. But if I stop helping people these people will sicken and some will die.
Is my house worth more than one human life?
So how do I respond to the bullying tactics of a vastly powerful global company? Will I stop helping people in Brazil to get generic Hepatitis C treatment?
Let me tell you what I will do… I will try harder than ever to help people in Brazil with Hepatitis C to get access to affordable Hepatitis C treatment. Threats and bullying will not stop me, while there are people in need I will help them. It is not a hard decision to make.
Is it better to help people get access to Hepatitis C treatment or to prevent them from getting treatment?
Here is the email I received from Juliana Martines Director, Legal Affairs for Gilead in Brazil. Attached to the email was a very long letter, in PDF form, outlining my offenses against Gilead.
Dear Mr Jefferys
On behalf of Gilead Sciences Farmacêutica do Brasil Ltda. (“Gilead”), I hereby notify you in the terms of the enclosed Cease and Desist Letter regarding the unauthorized supply of sofosbuvir-based products to Brazilian entities.
Please acknowledge receipt of this email and its attachments.
Gilead remains at your disposal should you need any further clarification.
Farmacêutica do Brasil Ltda.
Av. Dr. Chucri Zaidan, 1240, 15º andar – Cj. 1501-1502| Golden Tower | Morumbi Corporate
04711-130| São Paulo | SP | Brasil
Desk: + 55 11 3036 9911| Mobile: + 55 11 97300 2844| email@example.com
Então, enquanto estou tentando ajudar as pessoas no Brasil a curar sua Hepatite C, Gilead está tentando impedir que eu ajude essas pessoas. Deixe-nos ser honestos, os brasileiros que eu ajudo não têm como comprar Harvoni ou Epclusa de. Então não estou afetando os negócios da Gilead, nem os seus enormes lucros. Mas sem acesso a tratamentos acessíveis de hepatite C, esses brasileiros com hepatite C ficarão doentes e mais doentes e depois morrerão.
So while I am trying to help people in Brazil cure their Hepatitis C Gilead is trying to stop me from helping those same people. Let us be honest, the Brazilians I help have no way of buying Gilead’s Harvoni or Epclusa. So I am not affecting Gliead’s business, or their huge profits, at all.
But without access to affordable Hepatitis C treatment these Brazilians with Hepatitis C will get sicker and sicker and then die.