TO: Supporters and Friends of People with Bleeding Disorders and HCV:
Previously we described the situation in which Gilead Sciences, a drug development firm, likely found a cure …. and walked away from it, solely for the business reasons. Explanation: they own only half of the successful drug combination and they don’t want to split profits with another corporation.
And while Gilead tries to come up with a wholly owned drug combination, our health inexorably declines. This situation is so perverse as to be almost unbelievable. If ever there were a corporate leadership which needed a heart transplant, Gilead is it.
At the bottom of this note we reproduce a recent call from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to “Tell Gilead to Stop Withholding a Cure for Hepatitis C.” In their call AHF suggests increased participation in a petition by the “HCV Coalition for the Cure.” We have already recommended that petition to you. The petition address is: http://www.change.org/petitions/gilead-sciences-stop-withholding-this-cure-for-hepatitis-c
For an overview of the current hopes and issues on the road to better therapy we point to a January 2013 commentary (“Is the HCV Pipeline Headed in the Right Direction?”) published in the technical journal Gastroenterology: http://www.viralhepatitisaction.org/sites/default/files/upload/pdf/Gastro%20commentary%20on%20next%20generation%20DAAs.pdf
The “HCV Pipeline” artlcle generally points up the inadequacy of existing medical options for people with advanced or complicated liver disease (a common situation in our community). Additionally, it points at a large international clinical study of the most advanced approved therapy (Peg-Interferon, Ribavirin, and either Telaprevir or Boceprevir) in people with advanced liver disease. That study found very high levels of serious side effects. The “HCV Pipeline” article asks the burning question: why do serious side effects from new HCV drugs occur much more frequently in real life practice than in company-sponsored testing?
Best in 2013 to our friends and supporters,
Mark Antell and Paul Brayshaw for,
People with Bleeding Disorders and HCV