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Waiting and Watching 7 years 3 days ago #407

Hi everyone. I am 61 years old and have had HCV type 1 since age 25 when I briefly experimented with injecting drugs. I had Interferon monotherapy in 1999 while living in New Zealand but it was unsuccessful and I suffered with depressed mood, horrible flu like symptoms and developed severe tinnitus which I still have. A nasty treatment but although it was unsuccessful, I seem to have come through it all with less lethargy and my ALT has been mostly just outside the normal range since 2000. My fibroscan result this year averaged 5 so luckily I seem to be holding up reasonably well. I have been watching the development of sofosbuvir since the early days of it's development by Pharmasset and was so excited by it's eventual release to the market by Gilead until the shattering disappointment of how ridiculously expensive it is. I don't think that Australia is going to pay the sort of money that Gilead want and I have decided to bite the bullet and buy my supplies through the assistance of the Buyers Club. I have been watching with interest the development of new treatments and I think that Gilead's days of best treatment monopoly will soon be over. A small Australian bio-pharmaceutical company called Benitec Biopharma has been developing a one shot cure for all strains of HCV and is currently in phase 1/11a of a first in man trial in the USA with no safety issues identified so far and early indications of efficacy hopefully before the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This is a very exciting development and I think that if they are successful big Pharma will have to come to the party in drastically reducing the cost of current treatments before they are superseded by this amazing development which could be a real gamechanger in the way we treat not only HCV but also HBV and other diseases. Unfortunately it will be a few years and further trials before this technology becomes available but it offers hope to all of us suffering from this virus that a better treatment may be in the wings and that current treatments should become more affordable within Australia in the not too distant future.

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