This drug costs $84,000 – And there’s nothing the US health-care system can do to stop it

Dec 2, 2014

The first thing Philip Mason noticed was the hair loss.  The 73-year-old retiree, a former computer programmer, began shedding hair from his arms, legs, everywhere on his body.  “It just all came right off,” he said.

After the hair loss came weight loss; Mason dropped from 150 to 125 pounds. He felt weak and sick. Mason, who is blind and already used a white cane to get around, began having falls. He switched to a walker for more stability.

Mason went to the doctor and discovered he had Hepatitis C. He had contracted the disease through sex with an ex-boyfriend. And when he received his diagnosis three years ago, the prognosis wasn’t good. He already had renal insufficiency, a chronic condition in which the kidneys become increasingly weak and unable to process urine. After the diagnosis of Hepatitis C, which weakens liver function, Mason’s doctor recommended a transplant.

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