VERTEX ON THE WAY OUT


downloadI spotted this on the wire this morning. It was inevitable and I wondered when the boys at Vertex would pull up the stakes and fold the tent. The only sad facet of this is how many lives were inadvertently affected by using this drug. Incivek by itself is not to blame. The crime was injecting Interferon behind it with the sure knowledge that a new genre of medicine was on the horizon capable of accomplishing the same thing with little or no collateral damage.

I liken it to building Zeppelins and filling them with hydrogen knowing full well that the risk of fire and explosion were far greater than using helium. Few know that Interferon, in it’s first incarnation in 1957, was developed to combat cancer. When it was discovered that an inordinate number of patients were dying from it rather than their cancer, it was pulled off the shelves. In the eighties, it was trotted out once again for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Having little success again, it was retired until the Hepatitis C virus reared it’s ugly head in 1989.

Thinking they had finally tuned it up, they overdosed thousands of us with it in doses far larger than they should have. When this failed, they began the introduction of Ribavirin. We have continued to watch scientists stumble around in the dark and grab any perceived panacea they come across in a vain attempt to give Interferon credibility. Vertex’ introduction of Incevik was simply more insult heaped on injury for many. Soon, Telepravir and Bocepravir will end up on the same ash heap of medical science. I can’t wait.

With the advent of Sofosbuvir, Simeprevir, Daclatasvir and the new nucleotide protease inhibitors,  patients are finally getting a useful drug that won’t kill them. The inventors of Interferon overlooked the golden rule of physicians-First do no harm.

For those of you out there who don’t get out much or have a newspaper subscription, please refrain from entering any new prophylaxis involving Interferon. It is yesterday’s news.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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4 Responses to VERTEX ON THE WAY OUT

  1. SPrice says:

    It serves them right. First they tried using patients who had cleared to go tell untreated patients, “If I did it so can you”. (at $200 per “session”). Then they funded Quintiles to do a “survey” that supposedly was going to help educate doctors so they could serve Hep C patients better. These were some of the questions it included:
    “What is your hepatitis C genotype? (Telaprevir is used only on genotype 1)
    Why have you NOT taken any prescription medicines to treat your hepatitis C?
    Which of the following is your primary insurance carrier?
    Where do you get your information on hepatitis C?
    Do you believe that hepatitis C can be cured?
    How interested are you in starting treatment for your hepatitis C?
    How much has your health care provider discussed with you results from studies with new medications that may soon become available for the treatment of hepatitis C?
    What do you think your chances are of being cured of hepatitis C with these new medications?”

    So I emailed Quintiles and asked who sponsored the survey and how was asking people about their insurance going to help educate doctors. Their response:

    “The patient survey is part of a CME series supported by an educational grant from Vertex. The data will be integrated into the educational initiates that are part of the series including a Reflective Case-based Outcomes Compendium. This activity will review the results of the patient survey, summarize the key concepts of the first three activities in the series, and provide an overview of the educational outcomes as measured by pre- and post-test data. This information creates the opportunity to assess where health care providers stand against their peers in the aggregate and where this medical specialty community sits as a whole. The survey results will be reviewed by the faculty in conjunction with our Medical Director and Outcomes Manager. The data we are interested in are not deemed Protected Health Information (PHI) under HIPAA but are considered deidentified data. In addition, we handle all patient information in the aggregate. Therefore, there should be no concerns about patient privacy.”

    After pointing out that I hadn’t fallen for their BS and that those being asked to answer the questions were people and not cows, my messages were quickly passed to the Managing Director who was very interested in talking to me on the phone since I had obviously misunderstood their intentions. My final answer….

    “I consider your survey and the Patient Ambassador program as self-serving, underhanded tactics being used to sell a product. Back door attempts around legislation designed to protect the consumer. If you really want to educate doctors then teach them about PI resistance and side effects and instead of reviewing survey results during class, you can review the resistance analysis data from the studies.”

    Then I shared the conversation with a few friends.

    • mark says:

      I got into a Knock down drag out at a Church that was pushing this crap, I was able to talk some out of taking it, some did, most did not, I wonder how many are screwed up for Life Now?

  2. mark says:

    about Time, to many of us damaged on this Crap, Do I hear Class action Law suite?

  3. kyemo says:

    We are all rats to Pharma. As long as they make a buck, who cares about the suffering? Rrrrr

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