Canada: Drug cure for hep C comes with $95,000 price for Windsor man

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 transfusions.

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: , , ,