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Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2016-06-27

Drug dealers of hope: Activists fight for access to life-saving Hepatitis C cure

Hepatitis C, a liver disease, causes approximately 500,000 deaths every year. Luckily, there is a miracle cure patented by the American pharmaceutical giant Gilead. But for most patients in the West it's unaffordable. In India, meanwhile, local pharmaceutical companies are authorised by their government to make generic copies, and can provide the entire course of treatment for less then 5% of the usual cost.

Faced with this situation, health activists across the world have set up "Buyers' clubs", creating networks that allow them to buy the treatment and ship it to those who need it across the world. It's an undercover operation, and a logistical nightmare, but it saves thousands of lives.

Our team reports on these activists' battle against Big Pharma, which is attempting to restrict access to the cure to Hepatitis C, this as millions of lives hang in the balance.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett, Anna Kowalska, Aline Schmidt and Claire Pryde.

By Mandakini GHALOT , Alban ALVAREZ , Lucile AIMARD , Brice ANDLAUER


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