Friday, June 26, 2015

HCV TGIF Rewind - Peak body, Gilead welcome hepatitis report

HCV TGIF Rewind 

Welcome to TGIF rewind, a weekly digest of news, research and a look at today's headlines.

Wednesday AbbVie announced clinical trial results from TURQUOISE-III which showed 100% of genotype 1b patients with compensated liver cirrhosis reached a sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment after therapy with Viekirax and Exviera, here is the press release, a summary available online @ Healio.  

The June issue of "Clinical Liver Disease" is up folks, the journal is an official digital educational resource from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Visitors can read full text articles or sit back and watch either an author interview, or a presentation of each article, begin here.

In 2014 The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) with the International Antiviral Society developed a living document with ever evolving guidelines to treat HCV.
The "guidelines" have a complex algorithm for practitioners around the country to follow and see whats the right right treatment, for the right patients, for the right about of time. Yesterday the AASLD announced updates for the use of hepatitis C drugs with a summary published in the AASLD journal, Hepatology.

VA In The Headlines
VA to outsource care for 180000 vets with hepatitis C
"The VA had set aside nearly $700 million this year for HCV antiviral drugs. In documents and a written statement, department officials confirmed soaring patient loads and medication expenses have nearly wiped out that budget with several months to go in the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. That's an estimated $400 million shortfall with more dramatic costs expected, beginning in October."

VA to outsource care for 180000 vets with hepatitis C
The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to outsource care nationwide for up to 180,000 veterans who have hepatitis C, a serious blood and liver condition treated with expensive new drugs that are costing the government billions of dollars.

July 25
Wonder Drugs Blow a $1 Billion Hole in VA's Budget
Senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs testified on Thursday that his agency is not rationing costly new drugs for veterans suffering from the potentially deadly Hepatitis C virus, as some have suspected, but acknowledged that the VA is reeling from the skyrocketing costs of providing the miracle drugs.

High Cost Of Specialty Drugs
June 26
Peak body, Gilead welcome hepatitis report
Australian Journal of Pharmacy
The report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, The Silent Disease – Inquiry into Hepatitis C in Australia has been welcomed by the peak body representing more than 230,000 Australians living with hepatitis C.

June 25
The rising cost of specialty drugs to treat complex, chronic or life-threatening conditions has the potential to break the pocket books of businesses, consumers, insurance companies and the state, according to Milam Ford of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Ford is the vice president of pharmacy services for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. He spoke with The News-Star Thursday about the rising cost of specialty drugs, which are used for cases of hepatitis C, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and more.

Related; June Updates
An index of articles pointing the reader to the current controversy over the high price of Sovaldi, Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and AbbVie Viekira Pak.

June 24
Community outreach program cures Pearland resident of Hepatitis-C
When Pearland resident John Rocks went into the hospital in 2012, the last thing he expected was to be diagnosed with Hepatitis-C(HEP-C) [an inflammation of the liver due to virus or bacteria], yet that's exactly what the doctor told him. “I had a ...

June 23
China rejects patent linked to Gilead hepatitis C drug
China has rejected a Gilead Sciences Inc patent application related to its costly hepatitis C drug, a U.S. advocacy group said, adding the move may lead to other countries to consider rejecting patents for the controversial treatment.

World Journal of Gastroenterology 2015 June 28
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant threat to the health of elderly patients, in whom liver disease progresses very rapidly and extrahepatic complications affect the quality of life. Till now, treatment attempts have been substantially limited by the side effects of interferon (IFN). Here we discuss how the availability of IFN-free regimens should prompt us to change our mind when assessing treatment indication and to consider a significantly larger number of possible candidates among elderly patients. Drug-drug interactions and assessment of liver disease-dependent vs comorbidities-dependent life expectancy, rather than anagraphic age, are likely to guide the choice of the aged HCV patients to be treated in the next future.

June 25
Clinical Care Options
Date Posted: 6/25/2015
In this downloadable slideset, Paul Y. Kwo, MD, reviews strategies for managing HCV infection in challenging patient populations, including an overview of data on the safety and efficacy of current regimens as well as potential future options.

June 23
MedPage Today
by Sarah Wickline Wallan
Various cannabinoid compounds did not improve nausea, vomiting, or appetite, and only slightly improved chronic pain and spasticity, in patients with various long-term health conditions, a review of randomized clinical trials found.

The greatest reductions in chronic pain were reported by patients who smoked tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in eight of the trials, but the majority of the 79 trials in the meta-analysis demonstrated cannabinoids had little effect on HIV/AIDS patients with low-appetite and actually worsened chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, Penny F. Whiting, PhD, of University Hospitals Bristol NHS in England, and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Big Pharma
June 26
BMS is stopping early-stage discovery work in virology as part of a reshuffle in its R&D operations, reports.

The company stressed that the decision will not affect projects that have already reached the clinical development stage, which include beclabuvir for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in phase III and two HIV drugs in phase II, or indeed its marketed antiviral drugs including new HCV therapy Daklinza (daclatasvir).

The decision will mainly affect early programmes in hepatitis B and HIV, said the company, which said around 100 positions will be lost as a result. It will organisation will continue to focus on research in immuno-oncology as well as heart failure, fibrosis, genetically defined diseases and immunoscience.

Meanwhile, structural changes caused by the reshuffle include the opening of a facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, due to open in 2018, as well as a the closure of its sites in Wallingford, Connecticut, and Waltham, Massachusetts, in 2018.

Around 200 workers from the two closing units and BMS’ New Jersey operations will relocate to the new unit, which will focus on discovery efforts in genetic diseases, molecular discovery technologies and discovery platform chemistry, said the company.
26 Jun 2015 | PharmaBusiness Daily

Blog Updates
June 26
The Top-Selling Drugs in America
NerdWallet (blog)-32 minutes ago
Sovaldi was first approved for most types of hepatitis C in 2013 and quickly skyrocketed to the top earnings spot in 2014. There are six genotypes of hepatitis C, ...

Greg Jefferys
My Hep C Travel Diary, Hepatitis C Advocate
Last Entry: Hepatitis C Musings (2015-06-25 15:03:51)
Tomorrow I should get my hepatitis C viral load results back.
click here to enter

Matt Starr
Hepatitis, Liver Disease Support Coach
Last Entry: Hepatitis C and Treatment - The Long Haul (2015-06-25 06:24:05)
Regardless of one's personal situation, what does it mean to hunker down for the long haul? Can we deal with liver disease and hepatitis, get serious and be open to a wide range of possible treatments, while still maintaining our love for life and what is all around us?
click here to enter

Karen Hoyt
Hepatitis C Advocate
Last Entry: Going Back to Bed after Liver Transplant Surgery(2015-06-24 06:40:27)
After the surgery, my transplant coordinators, friends, and family all conspired to make me rest. Then they got me all jacked up on steroids which made it totally impossible for me to sit still. It was quite a conundrum.
click here to enter

Rick Nash
Hepatitis C Advocate
Last Entry: Road Tips (2015-06-23 14:11:01)
On my road trip to from San Diego to San Francisco, I took a critical look and what i did well, and where i could've improved and made a new road trip tip list for people living with the complications of Liver Disease.
click here to enter

Kim Bossley
Hepatitis C Advocate and Co-Founder, The Bonnie Morgan Foundation
Last Entry: Everyday Life (2015-06-22 12:21:29)
I am not what I used to be but I am happy, I am a fighter wanting to survive.
click here to enter

Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Author, Hepatitis C Advocate, Health Educator
Last Entry: When Hepatitis C Treatment is Hard and Scary (2015-06-22 06:07:58)
What if hepatitis C treatment isn't a cakewalk for you?

Enjoy the weekend!

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