Ontario hep C patient pleads with province to provide access to new drug
January 2, 2013
Abbiegael Craigie often feels as though she has the flu, “but 10 times worse.’’
The 42-year-old mother of three experiences chills, bad headaches, extreme fatigue and lack of appetite.
There’s a new drug that could help her, but the Ontario government won’t fund it because she’s not sick enough.
Craigie has hepatitis C. The Cambridge woman admits she was an injection drug addict for many years and shared needles. But after a friend died of a drug overdose and Craigie was diagnosed with hepatitis C, she realized she had to change. She left an abusive relationship, quit drugs and got her own place.
She mended relationships with her children and her mother, found a new boyfriend and now works to help educate others about hep C.
The petite woman figures she’s done all she can for herself. But there’s one more thing she needs to beat the disease that carries a stigma and forces her to take precautions so she doesn’t spread the infection to others. That’s a drug called Victrelis (boceprevir). It’s one of two new medicines touted as miracle drugs that came out over a year ago to treat hep C. Some people refer to it as a “cure.’’
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