the torch Winter 2017, Issue 4 | Page 21

Access to New Hepatitis C Drugs One big hurdle, though, is access to the drugs. They are quite expensive. As competitors enter the market, though, the price is slowly coming down. Still, many health insurance companies have extremely tight coverage restrictions. “This is all about ethics and all about insurance companies,” said Apurva Modi, M.D., transplant hepatologist at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth. Dr. Modi has also been closely involved in the drug trials. He explained that drug makers and insurance companies question now willingly invite hepatitis C tragedy to say to some families that, whether they should cover the drug — or Trojan Virus, so to speak — as donate your loved one’s heart to save organ from a donor that is hepatitis C transplant, and then turn around and your loved one’s heart because it is That’s exactly why the TROJAN-C through the gates as a Trojan Horse ‘Yes, we understand you want to costs for a patient transplanted with an it accompanies the life-saving heart another life, but no, we can’t accept positive. cure the virus.” ‘contaminated’ with blood carrying trial is so important. Dr. Hall hopes study, TROJAN-C, which stands for explained. “These potential donor medications will also be indicated for Judicious Administration of New special solace, and yet the wait list an organ from a donor that was once C Heart Recipients. closely with Dr. Hall, who was insurance companies will cover feel that it would be better to be alive nationally. population. hepatitis C,” Dr. Gottlieb said. “But we that this is effective, and that this is breakthrough for trying to increase curing them altogether of hepatitis C than patients waiting in the ICU with transplantation,” Dr. Hall said. Families of organ donors may also are no organs available,” Dr. Hall one was able to offer another person new norm in a few years, once all of Gottlieb that in the future, these new Transplant of Redeemed Organs by families have been deprived of that transplant recipients who received Direct-Acting Antivirals for Hepatitis for organs grows.” Dr. Gottlieb works hepatitis C positive, and that “If you ask many of our patients, they recently selected to lead this trial these drugs for this patient with hepatitis C than dead without “The purpose is to demonstrate “I think this is the next big That’s why researchers titled the hepatitis C ,’ ” D r. the donor pool for solid organ believe we can do better than that by far more economically appropriate in most cases.” a serious risk of dying because there find solace knowing that their loved said. “I think it will be considered the Baylor Scott & White’s transplant a lifesaving gift. these trials confirm that.” Melissa Dalton at 214.820.2705 or “Until now, it has been an added 21 For more information about initiatives, contact [email protected].