Should the VA collaborate with the DoD to medevac the most seriously ill veterans with HCV to another country on Air Force cargo/hospital planes? Taxpayers would save an enormous amount of money if so.
This would also be a great project for any veteran service organization to sponsor. If big pharma wants to screw veterans, the VA should just outsource treatment to another country where Solvaldi is much cheaper. Fly the vets in, spend a few days for exams, fly home, then consult via a virtual service like Skype with foreign docs working in partnership with VA hepatologists.
The cost for a 12-week course of Solvaldi differs drastically depending on where you receive the medication.
United States: $84,000; Germany $66,000; France: $50,000; Russia $45,000; United Kingdom: $34,000; Thailand-$5,000; Eqypt-$900. India, Egypt and Brazil: $840; Burma, Iran, Mozambique, and Kenya: $900.
Indian HCV activists are asking the government not to give Gilead an Indian patent because it’s so cheap to manufacture ($68 -$138) for all twelve weeks of treatment. I hope they win.
Forbes writes about medical tourism to places like Bumrungrad Hospital but sticks up for the insane US $1,000 per pill cost which has led to a policy of rationing at the VA. Would one such heavily publicized “Solvaldi for HCV veterans” medevac trip bring costs down?
Do you think veterans would pack a suitcase and board a well-equipped C-17 to another country for immediate treatment? I do. Chicago to Sao Paulo is 10 hours and with no jet lag due to being in the same hemisphere.
The VA cannot afford to pay full price for Solvaldi because it’s NOT an insurance company. We have the planes. We have medics. Bernie Sanders, what do you say?