The cost of HCV treatment is dominating hepatitis C news, and it is getting to me. The message that the undiagnosed are not being reached, isn’t even making back page news. Patients are lost; hope is mutilated. I am discouraged.
Adding to my mood is the fact that the dog days of August are here and summer is waning. I’ve used up my vacation days, but I am still yearning for a bit more adventure. Then I saw this: “New Hepatitis C Drug 99% Cheaper in India.” Twelve weeks of hepatitis C medication would cost about $900. Add in doctor fees (cheap), airfare ($1000), lodging (cheap), food (very cheap), and this would cost less than my medical insurance co-pay and deductibles. Cheaper still would be if you could go to India, pick up pills, and bring them home, thus cutting down on expenses. However, I checked with the FDA, and this option isn’t legal. So, it looks like a 12-week excursion to India is what it would take.
India is a fabulous place to visit. The people are wonderful; the food is fantastic. Granted, you must be careful you don’t pick up another disease while you are there. A stomach virus or parasite is not fun. However, if you follow precautions, the risks are worth it. Egypt is wonderful too, but this isn’t exactly the best political climate in which to travel there.
Before you pack your bags, keep in mind that my wanderlust is talking. I don’t know when sofosbuvir-ledipasvir will be available, or what the combination will cost. I don’t know if there are laws in India restricting foreigners from purchasing medications. A good medical tourism agency can help with the details.
I won’t be needing this trip, since I cleared hepatitis C over a year ago. However, India is a good place to travel when one is well.