Thirty-three-year-old Ben Franklin from London was diagnosed with Hepatitis C nine months ago. The virus can cause life-threatening liver damage.
A new drug which could cure his condition was approved by NHS England last year, but funding is limited to 10,011 people.
Ben is now buying a cheaper copy of the drug from Bangladesh, a route which the Hepatitis C Trust estimates as many as 1,000 other patients have taken.
NHS England said it was regularly reallocating unused Hepatitis C treatments to places with waiting lists. It also revealed that the number of patients treated will increase by 25% next year.
BBC Inside Out’s NHS special is broadcast on Monday, 16 January on BBC One England at 19:30 GMT and on the iPlayer for 30 days thereafter.