Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hep Free

There is always an Upside tied to the hip of a Downside.  There is always a Right when there is a Left.  Seems no matter where I look or how I feel, the grass is either greener over there or a barren landscape devoid of hope and goodwill.  Balancing it all appears to be the best road to travel.  But no matter the road we choose, all of us end up in the same place.  The pain in finding the end of our road depends on what baggage we choose to fly with.

The other day's sad sack post was my explanation for being MIA for a few weeks.  It was my admission that I do have a problem with depression and will most likely have to deal with it the rest of my days.  At least as long as I refuse the chemical help being shoved at me by the health industry.

More than 30 years ago, after many negative run in's with doctors and their belief pharmaceuticals solve all ills, I decided I was safer self medicating than allowing the medical world do it for me.  Then in 2002, I was talked into the Interferon treatment for my Hepatitis.  That negative experience made me vow to never again allow a doctor to write me script for something I did not understand.

Never say Never.

Last year, after constant nagging by my main doctor, I was talked into trying one of the new Hep C treatments.  He assured me of two things.  The pain would be minimal at worse and might not even mess with me.  He also claimed the treatment would be only be for either 12 weeks or maybe 20 weeks, depending on which drug I was able to score the cheapest.

I chose to seek out Harvoni if possible.  One pill for 12 weeks.  Of course once I spent 5 minutes looking into the cost, I had my doubts I could swing Harvoni.  Between $1100 and $1200 per pill.  Without figuring the exact math, even with the 75% payout by my insurance, the cost would be prohibitive.  At $1100 per pill for 84 days that was $92,400.  Deduct the 75% pay out by my insurance company, that left me owing around $23,000 for the meds.  No way, I thought.

I was ready to give it up and just live with Hep C the rest of my days.  A last ditch effort suggested by someone who I cannot remember, found me finding the Harvoni website.  On the main page, a come hither suck you in claim that I could score a coupon from Harvoni that would cover all but $5 on the treatment.

Yeah right.

What the Hell.  Can't hurt to go through the registration process I thought.  One thing led to another and in the end I did actually only pay $5 for the pills.  Far Fucking out!  The lack of serious side affects were as advertised.  I carried a slight headache the first week and might have been slightly more run down than I was used to, but other than that, it was a cake walk.

The expense came with all the damn blood tests I had to have and the 2 more I still have to have, one at 6 months and the last one 12 months after I finished the regimen.  While it is nice being Hep free, it is even better that my opinion of the health industry has been boosted a tad.

My experience has also reinforced that the the health industry is a scam, a rip off, and all they really want to do is pick our pockets.  But at least this time, I found a way to work the system.

For any of the folks who stop by here at the BoZone who may have Hep, I would say check out Harvoni.  Finding ways around the costs are available, you just need to dig for it.  One thing though, stop smoking Pot at least 30 days before your first blood test.  Apparently, THC in your system is the go to refusal most Insurance company's use.

Anyway, that is what was on my mind this AM.  Now I can forget it and move onto the next thing in the quiver.

Later ......................................


PipeTobacco said...


Very glad to see you posting again! What did it feel like to live with Hep C? What were your symptoms?

I am very glad the medicine appears to have worked and also had minimal side effects too.

I can understand and sympathize about depression. It is damn awful when it hits. I keep trying to focus on it not being reality when it is happening and that eventually it does dissipate, even though it can sometimes take a helluva long time. I would bet that you have sometimes bumped up your bicycle riding to try to compensate. I know I have with walking/jogging, and it can help somewhat.



I have had hep C since 1969...and knock on wood..have not had one day of problems since the first 6 months I was diagnosed with if I had problems or complications I'd check it out..but my blood work comes out clean as a whistle every time I have it done..liver and kidney blood counts are perfect..but I will keep that in mind in case it changes..

Nasreen Iqbal said...

How fantastic that you found a way around the cost, and how awful that people could wipe out an entire life savings for something they could get for $5 a pill!

It's one thing when someone's life is ruined by something that later gets cured: Imagine being the last person to die of polio or leprosy.

It's something else entirely when someone's quality of life suffers because the pill to help alleviate it is cost-prohibitive.

robin andrea said...

So glad to read that you are hep-free and paid $5 to get there. Such a sad statement about money-grabbing big pharma. Amazing to think how they thrive by ripping off people who are in such precarious health situations.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Keep on Keeping on
the Ol'Buzzard