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How did you decide which medication to take for hep C treatment?

Current treatments for hep C are far more effective than the old treatment regimens of interferon and ribavirin: direct-acting antivirals are over 90% effective and a treatment course takes 8- or 12-weeks. Though while today's treatment options are improved, we have heard from both people who have felt well and others who have experienced side effects during or after treatment. For example, community users have shared very different experiences using the medication Epclusa. We want to better understand how you decided on your medication choice, please consider the following questions:

  • How did you decide which medication to take for hep C treatment?

  • How much say did you have in selecting your hep C treatment?

  • Did you participate in a clinical trial?

  • How did you feel during treatment?

  1. Hi Matt,
    These are great questions I am often asked by patients and their families.
    My treatment decisions were based on my liver condition and genotype (virus strain) of hep C. We also discussed side effects of each treatment and how well I may do. My healthcare team, and I worked together as a team but ultimately the decision was mine on which treatment. Once my treatment was approved from my insurance company, we had the green light to begin. I prepared a list of questions before meeting with my doctor and specialty pharmacy about treatment so that I could understand what to expect from treatment. I found preparing well helped tremendously. To all Hep C warriors out there, never give up. Keep fighting the good fight. There is life beyond hepatitis C. Connie-Author/Moderator

    1. I didn’t have a choice in treatments as I was in a clinical trial for Viekira Pak. But if I were doing treatment with my doctor I would have gone with whatever treatment he chose for me. I trusted his expertise and he had taken good care of me with all my interferon experiences that did not work for me. That wasn’t the fault of his choice, interferon did not work for most of us. No one knows my medical history better than my doc.

      1. I have been cured of Hep C since August of 2016. I remember while preparing for treatment and going through all the preliminary steps and procedures I was curious about which option I was going to get. So between what my Doctor thought, what my Ins. Co. would allow and what possible side effects I could get, we chose Zepatiar. I NEVER had any side effects and at my 2 week blood test, I was Completely virus FREE. Of course, I completed the 12 weeks and it was a breeze.I am so Fortunate that I was able to afford this drug because what I paid out of pocket was NOT cheap, but that does depend on your income. Best decision I ever made.

        1. Thanks for the shout out. Yes, I paid out of my pocket BUT for a portion of it (Not sure if it was 20% or what) But it put me in the "Donut Hole" of prescription coverage and I paid $9,000.00 out of my pocket. We couldn't get any financial aid from anywhere because of our income level, maybe just a little better than middle income, nothing extravagant. It is a double edge sword. We are Blessed that we were able to afford the treatment and I am Thankful Everyday. I still have some residual issues like a lot of people though. I am Happy!!!

        2. , congratulations on reaching your cure!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. We're so glad you were able to get treatment. Wishing you all the best! 😀

          Juliana, Team

      2. I took Viekira Pak like Susan did. In 2015 I only had 2 choices, Harvoni or Viekira Pak, & Harvoni was an apparent no-go from the beginning, but I think it worked out for a reason because AbbVie became my biggest advocate & strongest ally in my fight against my state insurance that, at that time period, was refusing to even consider either treatment including when AbbVie told them they would be paying for every expense for me. It turned into a war pretty fast, but AbbVie didn't back down (& neither did my doctor, which also like Susan I trusted my doctor) so after months of fighting & having to go through things like a liver biopsy when AbbVie specifically told my insurance that there was no reason to make me have to go through such a thing, my state insurance (& my current governor at that time who felt the need to send me 3 separate letters telling me I'm not going to get any cure regardless of what I did) officially exhausted anymore road blocks to try stopping AbbVie from giving me their cure or me from receiving it. It became a big deal in my area of my state, other doctors took notice that they were fighting against the wrong company & they started going through AbbVie's patient assistance program after hearing I had won & that AbbVie fought so hard for me. People in my area were finally getting cured after me & to this day I still see people with AbbVie's newer cure Mavyret, including a close friend of mine who has had hep c for 15yrs or so & was officially cured of hep c just this last month. =]

        1. Tash, thank you for sharing your journey with us! Seriously, what a difficult journey you've had to get to the point of cured. It's wonderful to hear that AbbVie was so consistently in your corner fighting to help you get treated–even making sure that you didn't have to undergo a pain and unnecessary biopsy! Have you heard from other patients who have had to fight this hard to get treatment through a patient assistance program? And how are you feeling since completed treatment? -Matt (Team Member)

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