Hepatitis C Blog

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Triaging Hepatitis C Treatment: Why the Fibrosis Score is not valid

Triaging Hepatitis C Treatment.

Around the world access to Hepatitis C treatment is triaged. The common method of triaging is to use the patient’s liver fibrosis score, which is generally expressed as F0, F1, F2, F3 and F4. The Fibrosis score basically measures the level of scarring that the Hep C virus has caused in the liver. F0 means no measurable scarring and F4 means the patient has cirrhosis and the liver is very damaged.
There are a number of reasons the fibrosis score is used but I suspect that the main reason is that it is a simple, fast and cheap test to carry out made using a Fibroscan device.
Whilst fibrosis is an interesting indicator of the condition of the liver it does not indicate how sick the person with Hepatitis C actually is. Some people can have an F4 reading and be feeling quite okay and other people with and F0 or F1 reading can be feeling very sick and having serious trouble living a normal life.
The reason that health insurance companies and government health services are forced to triage people is because of the extraordinary cost of Hepatitis C medicines. No health service, even in the wealthiest countries, can afford to pay US$50,000+ that Gilead and other drug companies demand for Hepatitis C treatment.
For this reason the obvious thing is for governments to make it easy for their citizens with Hep C to access generic treatment, this takes the pressure off health service budgets and allows people to get well.
Below is an email I received today from a person in Estonia who I helped to get Hep C medication. As you will see she was very ill but could not access treatment because her fibrosis level was not to the required level. But now she is well and she has cleared the virus BEFORE it did further damage to her liver and general health.
Hello Greg!
I wanted to share with you the good news! I have been taking generic Harvoni for 5 weeks now and I had my blood analysis done – before treatment the viral load figure was above 300,000 for Hep-C and now it below 22. So this is very good news my doctor told me. And soon enough the virus will be gone and good riddance!
I am very happy and this would not be possible without you and your help! Without your help I would still be ill. I started feeling much better as soon as I started taking the pills. I have more energy, I am not tired all the time, I am not ill anymore, I don´t have a constant fever anymore!!! So all in all – I can see big changes in my health! I feel like I have been given a second chance for life – because the past 2 years with Hep-C symptoms was not a life at all! It was a constant misery.
I also had an ultrasound – which showed no liver damage yet – so doctor told me I would have not gotten antiviral drugs and no treatment from the government as I am not yet suitable for it – I am not ill enough for their requirements. Here only patients with liver damage are suitable for the treatment. So without your help I would have probably been suffering for many more years to come until finally I would have gotten bad enough a liver damage.
I read that your website was closed down. I cannot believe it! I am sure behind all this is some major pharmacy company – who simply wants rich people to buy Hep-C drugs from their company and let the poor people to die. What will happen now? Is it possible to get another website? I hope they cannot close down your organization? All this smells very much like government corruption!
All the best to You and lots of happiness
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Greg Jefferys

Greg Jefferys

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