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death of a woman of Ottawa has intensified a conversation about whether the provinces should be responsible for financing a drug for hepatitis C costly.
Brenda Peever died on November 4 after struggling with complications of hepatitis C. Now, her daughter, Jennifer, is talking about the three-year struggle to finance family life saving treatment.
Jennifer Peever says his family saga began when her mother contracted hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood transfusion. Peever’s mother was later identified as a candidate for an effective – but unavailable -. drugs
After receiving this news, Peever started an online petition and struggled to convince the government to finance the treatment of his mother. Today, she is struggling to get the money to pay for the funeral of his mother.
“The story needs to be told. He died because of the bureaucracy,” he told CTV Ottawa Peever recently.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease that affects the liver. According to US-based Centers for Disease Control, the virus often begins as an “acute infection”. However, unlike hepatitis A, hepatitis C remains in some organisms, even after initial infection causing chronic liver problems.
The Canadian Liver Foundation estimates 250,000 Canadians are infected with hepatitis C. An estimated 500 people die each year from liver failure.
Peever says the number could fall if the government would finance an antiviral drug called Sovaldi.
Health Canada approved the drug in January, and the results have been impressive so far.
Dr. Curtis Cooper, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Ottawa Hospital, said that the drug has a cure rate of 90 to 100 percent after only 12 weeks of treatment.
However, the drug has a cost :. More than $ 650 a pill
In that case, the three-month treatment works out to more than $ 55,000. Peever said his mother was quoted $ 84,000.
“The day he died was the day he said he could not take the medicine because she had no money,” Peever said.
Last spring, the company behind the drug, Gilead, told CTV News that the price is fair Sovaldi. The company said in an email that the cost of Sovaldi evens the same price patients pay for other medications and visits to health care.
“While Sovaldi greatly improves the level of attention, which was priced such that the total cost regime is similar to the above standard of care regimens,” said the email.
Quebec is the only Canadian province that funds the Sovaldi. Some private insurance providers also pay for the drug.
Donna Hess discovered she was infected with hepatitis C after a nursing career. Your private insurance paid for by the treatment, and she said the results were “shocking”.
“I had lived with her for many years, and discover – and then have the drug available and be able to take and get cured – for me a miracle,” Hess told CTV News
Hess said he believes that people without private insurance must also have access to the drug.
Peever and 66,000 people who signed the plea agreement.
“I asked for help to my mother. I begged him. I have 66,000 people who signed the petition, but yet no one heard,” Peever said.
She said she is not asking the province to fund treatment for non-fatal cases of hepatitis C, but to provide life-saving medication for those who die from the disease. “My mother was Stage 4. No one stage after that. Why not give it? Why not?”
Looking ahead, Peever said it is hard to imagine what will do now that his mother is gone. For now, he’s just trying to focus on fundraising to pay for a funeral and burial.
“I can not even mourn. The struggle is ongoing,” Peever said. “My mother was my heart. I know it will give me the strength to move forward. I just do not see it yet.”