Greg Jeffery from Australia was on the verge of getting liver cirrhoses less than 4 months ago. He was suffering from hepatitis C and desperately needed a drug called Sivoldi to reverse the life-threatening condition. But the total treatment regime of 84 tablets costed around 100,000 Australian dollars which he could not afford.
Desperate to source the drug at a cheaper rate, he landed in Chennai three months ago. There, he bought the drug for less than a hundredth of its cost back home in Australia.
"The same treatment with the same drug in India is $900," Jeffery told. "Within 11 days my liver functions had returned to normal and within four weeks there was no virus detectable in my blood".
Jeffery's story, now all over Australian media, has renewed the debate on whether life-saving drugs should be priced so high.
"If you haven't got the money, for a lot of people it's a death sentence - you die," Jeffery told. "I was right on the edge of cirrhosis of the liver, once you get cirrhosis you then open up to tumors and cancer."
Jeffery is now helping other Australians in a similar situation to source the drug from India. "I get about 40 to 50 emails every day, seven days a week and they are from people who have hep C, whose mother or father has hep C, wife or husband has hep C," he told. The story is also a vindication of sorts for India's patent regime that is often criticized in the West for not honoring intellectual property rights in medicine.
Source: Times News Network