Hepatitis C: Liver Docs, Transplant Surgeons, Patients See Miracles in Philadelphia

MD | Gale Scott

How can any pill that costs $1,000 daily possibly be considered cost effective?

Ask Carol Nyce, a retired nurse, mother, wife and grandmother who was cured of the hepatitis C infection that would likely have made her a candidate for a liver transplant. Those pills, the new antivirals that wipe out the disease, gave her back her health.

The Harleysville, PA resident contracted the virus through a blood transfusion when she had brain surgery decades ago. Interferon treatment made her miserable and did not work. Now, on the new antivirals, after years of being weak and worried, she is better.

“I am cured and I’m feeling good—I am feeling just wonderful,” Nyce said. How do you put a price on that?, she wondered.

Her story is typical of what physicians and patients see as one of modern medicine’s great success stories: the new antivirals that knock out hepatitis C.

At Hahnemann University Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA, the new drugs are putting a new face on the specter of hepatitis C, surgeons, hepatologists, and patients agreed. Continue reading