Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
A group of people with an oversized pile of political letters, a corded telephone, and a person sitting on a ballot box with a voting form in their hand.

Politics and Hep C: “Not Sick Enough for Treatment”

With news of various states now passing laws about hepatitis c treatment, more people are able to begin treatment in the earlier stages of liver damage. This is so exciting, because in the past, this was not always the case…

The history of hep C treatment

For most patients, getting treatment for hep C means fighting the outrageous costs to cure this disease. Sadly, many patients encounter roadblocks, especially in being told that they are “not sick enough for treatment“. In the past, stages 1 and 2 are considered to be in the category of “not sick enough”, which I believe is totally ridiculous.

Why we should treat earlier stages of hep C

Upon doing a documentary with PBS NewsHiur a couple years ago, we were fighting to share the importance of those with hep c getting tested and treated as soon as possible. The goal was to avoid further complications in one’s health, as well as possible death caused by later stages hep C. In later stages, more health issues arise, such as kidney issues, mobility issues, high blood pressure, edema, ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, dental issues, liver failure, and many more. These additional health issues therefore create an additional financial burden on the patient, as well as the overall healthcare system. In other words, it costs far more to treat someone in later stages of cirrhosis (when they might need a transplant) than treating people in earlier disease stages.

Fight for your treatment!

Time and time again, my foundation has been approached by patients who are desperate and wanting to cure this sooner than later. In the past, our hands have been tied, but we have tried to help people find ways around treatment restrictions.

Recently, a good friend on Facebook shared that after years and years of waiting until she was “sick enough”, she got news that she will be able to begin treatment very soon. Her home state of Michigan finally voted in favor to help treat anyone, regardless of stage of the disease. This is great news to see now, and maybe other states will follow suit in treating hepatitis C patients at any stage.

If you are living in a state where there are regulations on the stage your liver has to be in order to be treated, I encourage you to voice this concern with a letter to the governor, mayor, state representatives, etc. As I explained, the more cost-effective approach is to allow treatment in earlier stages. Keep pounding on that door. My friend did not stop until she got the answer she was looking for… TIME TO TREAT. And to those in Michigan, get back into your doctors for your treatment!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Tash
    4 months ago

    I live only 40min away from Michigan, I heard about their recent changes in laws as well as Hawaii. I was cured in just under a year of being diagnosed, but what people who come to me for help don’t understand is that I fought like hell for my cure. I was personally dedicating basically every free moment of my life researching online on anything that could help me override my insurance telling me I wasn’t getting cured, as well as 3 unnecessary letters from my governor at the time (thank goodness we got a new governor in that’s passionate about actually helping people & medical care) saying also I’m not getting cured. Back in 2014 & early 2015 there was definitely not the type of information or help like there is today, I was finding mostly forums so I was trying to focus on the only 2 companies that had cures at that time, which one immediately had no interest in helping me, then anything with information on just basics of hepatitis c. I lost some friends from the simple fact they said I was too obsessed with researching, but in less than a year of getting the call that changed my life forever, the call from AbbVie saying they promise I will be okay & they’ll take care of me, I proved fighting without any intention of giving up is the only way they can be cured.. I can’t do that for them. I did get a text from a friend yesterday of a picture of a Mavyret box saying someone he knows just started taking that cure showing me that my fight is still helping people in my area. I’m trying to help a friend in prison get a cure or at least proper medical care, but unfortunately our state laws are still stuck on people need to score at minimum a 3 to get treatment which this article literally sounded like me when I’m ranting about how ridiculous I think it is. I was cured in less than a year but I still have damage that affects me today especially liver inflammation, so the thought of if I didn’t fight like I did.. what kind of damage would I be suffering now then?
    I truly don’t understand why laws wouldn’t allow people to get cured as soon as possible to minimize damage & like the things mentioned in this article. I’ll never understand why we have these amazing cures, even better than the first ones like I took, yet people are still dying & getting denied this amazing cure that could save them from horrible permanent damage or ultimately death. I was telling someone not that long ago who asked why I’m still involved in the hepatitis community that I feel like my story & fight will never truly be over until the day that people are no longer suffering & losing their lives from hep c making me no longer a survivor but just someone who was simply cured.

  • Poll