Well, boy howdy. All this consternation over trying to obtain Harvoni and be cured of this HCV blight was much ado about nothing. Well, that is until we find out VA might not be considering Harvoni exclusively. VA is trying like the devil to pawn off everything but Harvoni in order to keep the costs down. Viekira Pak seems to be their choice now. Well, that and Olysio with a side of Incivek. Jez, I thought they 86’d all the NS3A inhibitors and were moving on to NS7As from the fives by now. With our luck, VA will be going naturopathic and opting for Milk Thistle and licorice root with a side of anise seed mandibular therapy.
Seriously, folks. An Agency (unarguably the largest) of government that keeps asking for more and more bucks for this just now (last month) finally said “Okay. You caught us. We promise not to ration it out and give it to all who are infected.”
Really? A more aggressive roll out? Just for shits and grins, I have maintained that I am still infected all these years. I think that is a legally sufficient statement. I certainly cannot go down to the blood bank and offer my wares. VA labors under that misconception for good reason. I wanted to see how long it would take for them to “reach out” to me. I’m still waiting. I was informed in November 2013 that June 2014 was the magic month of salvation. They were prepared to offer the triple drug therapy (Interferon/Ribavirin/ Boceprivir) knowing I have a raging autoimmune disorder. Last December, on a routine LLRP into the VAMC, I allowed as I was still infected. No one batted an eyelash when I pointed out I was Stage 4 and still waiting. The suggestion was another liver biopsy to “make sure” I was still infected and perhaps a butt tractor (colonoscopy) to take a gander at my large intestine. I pointed to my liver threatening to grow out of my upper right quadrant and they reassured me that was completely normal.
The letter above, to me, is simply more CYA and feed the media a bone to assuage criticism. Considering that they’ve managed to suppress waiting times across the fruited plain and make it appear a localized anomaly in Phoenix, I’d say the letter will save a ton of money. Vets with HCV are going to die without it so why spend the money on them? Delay and deny has always worked in the past. Why change horses in mid-stream when you can hand out a press release saying you did.
I apologize for the spelling of chronic. I found this and it evoked the essence of VA rating principles.