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Hep C sufferers endangering health to get treatment

B.C., Ont. won't cover antiviral drugs without liver damage, so patients binge drink

Health-care workers who treat hepatitis C are raising the alarm about patients who are binge drinking and taking dangerous herbal concoctions to try to inflame their own livers in a desperate bid to get provincial governments to pay for their medication.

"The binge drinking is huge," said Fran Falconer, an award-winning hepatitis C support nurse on Vancouver Island. "For the liver, drinking [alcohol] is like putting grease on a flame. It's like fertilizer to the hepatitis C virus."

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