Patient drug campaigned for drug—while being funded by the manufacturer

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The Hepatitis C Trust has been pressurising the UK's National Health Service to use an expensive new drug—but didn't reveal it had received £200,000 funding from the drug's manufacturer, Gilead.


The trust even brought a High Court action against NHS England which had decided to limit the availability of the drug, Sovaldi. A 12-week course of the drug costs £34,983.


But the trust had long-standing financial links to Gilead, and other drug companies also developing new therapies for hepatitis C. In all, it received a total of £334,700 in funding from five pharmaceutical companies in 2016, the BBC has discovered.


Most patient groups get funding from drug companies. In return, they lobby health agencies to get a drug approved, and usually ignore any alternative therapies that may work.