VHA– HARVONI HAS ARRIVED


downloadJust in time for the almost-gone  stage 4 (Metavir) Heppers of my era, the VA is apparently snapping up Harvoni at $867 a pill. That’s down from the official price charged Multicare and Franciscan of $1187.00 each. The best news is everyone’s making it to the far shore (remission or SVR). In the latest trial results of 1A and 1B, Harvoni licked the plate. One fell out of the 20 in the first study to autoimmune issues. The second group of 20 lost none. 

In what was always a harsh, debilitating battle against 1A and 1B, Heppers with it had to run the gauntlet with the hope, at best, of a 39% success rate using Interferon and Ribavirin. Nevertheless, VA doctors would tell you it was in the high 60s. Some went through the process again with no better results. Another  member here did it three times  with no luck. What was sad was that they just wanted to use him as a medical yardstick. No doctor in his right mind would keep repeating a failed attempt with the same tools over and over. VA would, though.

Up to the beginning of these new combo pills,  VA doctors were still pounding the pavement looking for more victims. The Victrelis 3-drug combo only brought the Geno 1s up into what VA and others had been promising all along.

We’ve always known that the Genotype 1s were the guys who rarely pulled out and rare as hens’ teeth in the win column. With Harvoni, the odds have swung 180% in your favor and the Geno 2s and 3s are not having as great a success. In the early days of the hep battle, they were the easiest to kill using the bug juice and riba.

With the vast array of ammunition now out there, it only remains to be seen who will buy what for how much. The drug I took was solely Sofosbuvir , yet the early trials in 2011 began with a combination that included Daclatasvir. These trials in just 12 weeks were hitting in the mid- 90% for a cure. Some included Ribavirin and some didn’t. The problem with transposing that into Harvoni was  due to Gilead Science’ not owning Daclatasvir. Unwilling to share the profit, Gilead instead put Sovaldi on the market as a single protease inhibitor and suggested getting the bug juice out of the basement again. What the hell. VA had bought a trainload of the triple drug combo. This was a golden opportunity to use some of it up.

It appears VA was more reserved this time out and didn’t start writing scrips for Sovaldi unless the Vet agreed to Interferon as a side dish. The doggy bone line was “Mr. Vet, we’re talking 12 weeks of flu-like symptoms here. That’s a whole lot less than the old, grueling  52 week regimen. Besides, this time we guarantee it will work.”

Well wonders of wonders. I already told you about one of our guys in Texas starting it but I got two emails today saying Denver is prescribing it as well as  Little Rock’s VAMC.  This shows a real sea change in thinking. The painful financial picture is clear. Pay now or pay later. If VA let HCVets go down the tube, the cost of a liver transplant far exceeds the cost of 12 weeks of Harvoni. Additionally, the VA raters get to open the book again and claim you are Lazarus- ergo no more compensation.

VA would never pencil in the human-Veteran argument when examining costs for Harvoni or Sovaldi. To do so might endanger their bonuses. If you just assume altruism and a positive outcome mentality would never enter into the equation, then the ulterior motive has to be a financial windfall from all those reduced ratings. The last thing in the world VA needs right now is to withhold anything from Veterans- including life-saving drugs.

So there you go.Time to saddle up and sashay on over to the VAMC ranch. Insist on brand name Harvoni for that Geno 1. Abbvie’s product is trying to glue two protease inhibitors into a two-pill a day regimen. Merck hasn’t finalized theirs and completed trials but the FDA gave them a bye on it.

Wouldn’t that be a hoot if they eradicated HCV or at least developed an immunization protocol like polio?

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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20 Responses to VHA– HARVONI HAS ARRIVED

  1. woodguy11 says:

    yes if your kidneys are problematic you are doomed if you need a transplant…these drugs also wreck havoc on them …drink loads of H2O everyday buggaloo

  2. woodguy11 says:

    I think it’s 580 now thank you Bernie sanders and patty murry

  3. woodguy11 says:

    roger that mikey

  4. mikey says:

    Looks like my kidneys are going to keep me off the program.Looks like maybe some funny business connected to me getting benefits is also playing a part too. They are requiring probes to many areas as a requirement.I think they are doing a different type of Data Mining!!

  5. Kel says:

    Week one is closing… So far my sides include nausea, increase in headaches, and definitely more fatigue than usual.
    But no interferon!

  6. kel says:

    Sorry it’s been so long! Life has a tendency to get in the way.
    Anyway… after waiting, and waiting, repeat, repeat for VA to give me a straight answer on Harvoni, I got tired of the usual BS and luckily I have the option of using my BCBS insurance.
    Guess what? I saw a REAL liver doc, got all new bloodwork done.
    Harvoni ordered, and I should receive it tomorrow via FedEx!
    The prescription copay assistance is great!
    I went from having to pay $6000 out of pocket, to $15.

    I’ll report back after taking it for a week or two…

    • mikey says:

      Barring any problems on my lab test, I have been accepted to the Boise VAMC Harvoni program. They are having 95% success rate. Tons of BS classes to go with it, but it will be worth it if it works.I’ll be selling my blood to pay for the gas money to VAMC!! (joke) My completion date May 13th. Helluva B-Day present. Good Luck with your program.mikey

    • woodguy11 says:

      that is good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  7. woodguy11 says:

    Reblogged this on never too late and commented:
    wow

  8. hepper74 says:

    The VA will most likely not try and ding us on becoming bug free due to all of the associated diseases it brings with it. I will most certainly be watching for those types of BS backdoor diplomacy and then round three of the fight begins. Wishing all God speed in the fight. I start the Harvoni tomorrow.

  9. woodguy11 says:

    saw the PA and got a ultra sound am waiting ….he screened me like it was for a claim have you slept with prostitutes ? did you do drugs in nam? he checked my biopsy screening to see if I qualify? So if you were a drug user IV they may not ok it? And you are saying if u get the dragon off your back they can withdraw your claim? why those sons of bitches……I also read in your bva last 2014 dicisions and it does not look good. most were denied

    • SquidlyOne says:

      The hep over time chews your liver all to hell. In the mean time other diseases rear their ugly heads because the liver couldn’t function properly. I am 180% without the hep. As it is, I am a sovaldi non-responder watching the MELD score creep up.

      • hepper74 says:

        The VA should set you up for the Harvoni treatment but you have to kick them in the butt and get the party started. They will put you on it. One pill a day.

      • ken campbell says:

        170% 0% hcv. I have hcv,pct,hfe enrolKennyled Nashville VAMC not started treatment yet.

        • woodguy11 says:

          what is pct, hfe? harvoni 95% cure rate I did the interferon riba and it did not work @ 10 months was seeing circles so stopped. the dragon came back good luck they have to treat you

      • woodguy11 says:

        good luck…harvoni? transplant usually last resort but it works if you get a donor seattle has a good source /I hope things work out / if you get a transplant your balls will get as large as a large grapefruit. just a warning

  10. mikey says:

    Looks like they are discussing finally at the Boise VAMC. I see the specialist Feb 6 for a maybe one of the first group there.What were the numbers for 1B- ers? A little birdie I heard some where said didn’t need the side of ribo.Since I have NO support system, I don’t need no stinkin’ side effects. You Roger that? Mikey

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