Community Views: Choosing a Hepatitis C Treatment
Last updated: April 2021
Everyone living with hepatitis C has his or her own unique experience, from doctor’s visits to treatment plans. Hepatitis C can be treated with several different medicines – which can feel overwhelming after a new diagnosis.
To find out more about hepatitis C treatment options and experiences, we reached out to followers of our Facebook page. We asked members to tell us: “How did you decide which medication to take for hep C treatment?”. Nearly 50 people responded. Here is what was shared.
The doctor ran tests to choose the best medicine
There is no single medicine to treat hep C. Rather, there are 6 types of genotypes of hepatitis C, and each of these responds best to different medicines. To know which medicine is best for you, first a doctor has to run the tests to determine your genotype.1
“After many, many tests my doctor decided.”
“The doctors determine the type of medicine that would work for your genotype. Some meds only are successful for certain genotypes.”
“I let my doctor decide the best choice for me.”
Cost was a factor
After considering out-of-pocket expenses, for some people, the choice came down to cost. If 2 drugs were equally effective, then some community members chose the drug that cost less.
“Cost was a huge factor. I had to find reputable people to help in the process of obtaining quality generic meds.”
Health insurance chose for me
For several members of the community, the choice came down to which medicine their health insurance company would pay for. Because of the high cost of hepatitis C drugs, for many people, paying for treatment without the help of medical insurance just is not possible. If insurance will only cover a certain drug, it is worth having another conversation with your doctor to determine if that drug will work. If not, your doctor may help you to figure out other options.
“My insurance decided. They would only approve 1 drug, and my doctor wanted to give me another. It is all OK. I am undetected, and that is what counts.”
“I think what was approved easier by my health insurance helped make that decision also. We could have chosen between a couple of different drugs.”
I had to fight the insurance provider to get treatment
In the United States and many other countries, it often takes a fight to get the necessary medical services and coverage. A few folks in the community shared that when their insurance company initially denied coverage of hep C treatment, so they went back to their insurance company and fought until they received a green light.
“The doctor chose. The insurance company denied it and suggested something else. I said, ‘No!’ I told the doctor to petition the insurance company to get her recommended med for me. She must have written the grand dame of all letters. Within a week or 2, that medication was being delivered to my door. I was cured in the summer of 2015.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences for this story. We appreciate your contributions, all of which help those who are new to the community learn more about the hep C journey.
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