Experts say that new drugs could eliminate hepatitis C within a decade. But there are a few problems with this statement. Pharmaceuticals do not have a reputation of curing patients. After all, you cannot make 450 billion dollars profit every year with drugs that are only taken for a short period. That money is made from keeping people sick. The only drugs I can think of that cure are those that treat bacteria and parasites. But hepatitis C is supposed to be caused by a virus. Anti-viral drugs have already been on the market for quite a while, and they do a particularly poor job. So why would it be any different this time?
New “powerful” drugs have been added to the Australian PBS, which means they have become available to the general public. But I don’t see how that means that hepatitis C will be eradicated from the country. For that to happen the drug must work and that is always the big problem with pharmaceuticals. Very often they don’t work at all and if they do the side effects are bad and often fatal. So how powerful are these drugs really? They might just be powerful in killing patients and then of course you can also eradicate the disease. But I don’t think that’s what the experts mean.
Professor Hellard comes with a number of very strong statements, but this only proves to me that she has a huge ego and overrates her work. If new anti-viral drugs are more effective that probably only means that the efficacy goes up from 1% to 2%. In the pharmaceutical logic this means they are 100% more effective. But it’s still not particularly impressive. And if there are fewer side effects then this might mean that the drugs are not as lethal. Or it might mean that instead of many mild problems there are a few really bad ones. Welcome to the world of the pharmaceutical smoke screens.
So what is hepatitis? When you dig into it, all the different types of hepatitis are largely the same and all the different letters added have little meaning. Hepatitis is said to be caused by a virus, but there you get the problems with virology again. There is no proof that the virus causes hepatitis. The only thing that can be proven is that in the blood of people with hepatitis usually tiny pieces of DNA can be found, which are assumed to be part of the virus, which is assumed to cause the disease. Not very impressive.
Hepatitis is generally associated with IV drug users and sex workers, because they are the most likely to get the disease. But these people have some other things in common, like bad diets and bad living circumstances. These things are a lot more likely to cause disease that some unclear virus. When you do a thorough search in the PubMed database you find a number of studies that show that hepatitis (any letter) is associated with nutrient deficiencies. And nutrient deficiences are exactly what is very common among drug users and prostitutes. Especially selenium is a very important nutrient, but doctors don’t know anything about it and most ordinary people have hardly even heard of it. But if you give hepatitis patients selenium supplements (and preferably also extra vitamin C) then at once the symptoms disappear. When the selenium supplementation is stopped the symptoms come back. Of course the official explanation is that the selenium stops the virus, but that doesn’t make remotely any sense. The obvious explanation is that hepatitis is in many cases simply a nutrient deficiency disease. And one thing is for sure: hepatitis is not caused by a lack of powerful pharmaceuticals.
So why is this new drug pushed so much? I will give you a hint: the drug costs about $110.000 for a course. That probably means some 5000% or so profit for the manufacturer. That’s worth pushing it. Selenium doesn’t need to cost more than $15 and vitamin C is around the same price. But there is a difference between the drug and the supplements: the supplements are safe and come without any side effects. Pharmaceuticals on the other hand kill many thousands of Australians every year (I can’t remember the exact number, but I think it was around 1000 a week).
So who is this professor Hellard that she pushes an extremely expensive drug that probably won’t do much else than suppress symptoms and kill patients? I don’t know, but if you would look into her background you will most probably find that she is paid by the company that makes the drugs. That’s $cience. And these are the expert$.