For the first time in three months I did not take my medication this morning. I did not open my desk drawer, line up the pill bottles like fat white soldiers, little husky men, and one by one allocate and differentiate and equate them, take one tablet from each and then lay them back to rest. I did not toss them into my mouth and take a sip of hot coffee and swallow, did not think about the nifty complicated antivirals coursing through my system. Because I am done. I done sold all my C shells.
I will be cured if I still show no hepatitis C virus in my blood 24 weeks from now. I saw some recent news about Bristol Myers Squibb, the maker of my particular antiviral medicine. It has received “breakthrough” status for a combination of daclatasvir with two other direct-acting antivirals, asunaprevir, an NS3 protease inhibitor and BMS-791325, an NS5B non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor. That’s me. That follows its announcement that of those given the combination with the 75-milligram dose for 12 weeks, the virus was undetectable in 15 of the 16 patients when measured 24 weeks after stopping therapy. The 16th patient didn’t stay in the trial long enough for investigators to count the data as a success, the company said.