Thirty-three years after a van-motorcycle crash put Mike North in
hospital for multiple surgeries, he is suffering the devastating health
effects from the hepatitis C virus that snuck into his body via blood
The virus has attacked his liver, which is now in the most advanced
stage of cirrhosis, and he needs a transplant. But before the transplant
he must take a recently approved drug that should cure him of hep C, so
the virus won’t attack the new liver. Harvoni boasts a cure rate higher
than 95 per cent. But there’s a catch: it costs $95,000 for a 12-week
treatment, and North has almost no coverage.
“If I don’t get a liver, I’m done,” said North, 62, a former manager
at several local automotive plants, who has some savings (including his
share of the settlement paid out to victims of Canada’s tainted blood
scandal), but only enough to fund his retirement. So his family and
medical staff are scrambling to find a way to get him these $1,130 pills
as quickly as they can.
Labels: access to treatment, Canada, costs of treatment, Harvoni