Since I have been off the treatment (I have lost my health insurance) I have thought about nothing more than getting right back on it (even though it was hell) so I can start having a Family and getting my life back. Does anyone know of Doctors that give the treatment out for free for like testing or anything? I live in Canada now but am willing to travel back to the states (Michigan) or where-ever I can go to fight this.
Yahoo or google "'vertex'. That is the company conducting clinical trials on a new drug called Telapravir. Another study is being conducted on a new drug called Bocepravir. Contact the Hepatologists, preferably the larger more renowned groups and ask them if they are involved in the studies. Find one of those in your area and treatment will be no charge. In most cases, they also give you a few dollars to pay for your gas and parking when you go in for blood work and doc's visits. Good luck and keep us informed.
You don't need to go to the U.S. to get into a clinical trial. They're done out of Canada also. You can check at clinicaltrials.gov and do a search for Hep C trials based on location. You're in Windsor so you'd be looking at London or Toronto, if Toronto isn't too far for you, I tend to think they do even more out of Toronto. If I recall right, London is a major liver transplant centre in Ontario and the docs there are pretty good. I know some people being treated out of London. I was treated out of Toronto and did a clinical trial there. If you're interested, I'll look up the contact information for London and Toronto and pass it on for you.
Besides that, there is the Trillium Drug Plan in Ontario and it covers a certain amount of the cost of the drugs depending on your income. The paperwork takes awhile to go through and I don't have a sense if it covers 100%.
And then, the drug companies will sometimes help with the cost of the drugs themselves. I haven't had to look up the # for that for awhile but I can.
And by the way....by testing, if you mean the blood tests, etc. - the cost of a biopsy and blood tests and all the medical care associated with Hep C treatment is free in Canada so to speak. It's the drugs that cost money. Even with that, there is some coverage for that also and again, it's dependent on your income. What is different in Canada is that there is a government-regulated schedule of how often you can get a PCR and what kind - you'll get a qualitative PCR rather than a quantitative PCR at certain points throughout the treatment and quantitative at a few specific places, I think at beginning, Week 12 and Week 24. At the beginning, depending on if you had one in the last year. If you're in Stage 1, Grade 1 phase of liver damage, your drugs won't be covered unless your doctor can argue some extenuating reason why you should have treatment in this phase.
I was in a trial and it was great. They covered all costs and I was more closely monitored than I would have been under my normal doctor.
If the monitoring (bloodwork & visits) would be free, there are several assistance programs from the pharmaceutical manufacturers who produce the drugs. I don't know much about them but if you can fit the right financial parameters, they may provide the drugs fee. I'm pretty sure Schering Plough is one of them and a link to the program is on their web page.
Not all trials are created equal. Phase III trials are the best - alot of the kinks have been worked out, there are less arms and less variables to deal with. You have to do your homework on ANY trial and look at the history of the side effects of the trial drug in past phases, look at the dosages you could get at all the different arms and look at the rules they're following with regards to when they'll reduce your drugs and when they'll allow helper / rescue drugs instead of reducing treatment drugs. My trial was Phase II with 7 arms and the drug was still experimental. There are a number of people on my trial who experienced various difficulties and finally they stopped the trial early. There were various dosage reductions for people along the way that they might not have been subjected to off the trial - and also that extra kick you get from the trial drug that you don't get from regular treatment drugs - UNLESS you get one of those arms with a crapshoot end result. My arm ended up being half the interferon dosage for the first 12 weeks and the intermediate trial drug dosage. You really have to do your research on a trial. You're stuck going by their rules and you really need to understand what their rules are.
ALOT more to consider about a trial besides free drugs and better care. Sorry...you really do have to do your homework on your treatment whether it's regular treatment or treatment on a trial.
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