Friday, June 5, 2015

TGIF - Hepatitis News and Headlines

TGIF - Hepatitis News and Headlines

As we head into the weekend its time for a quick look at today's news and headlines.

Breaking News
Editorial: Supervised drug-injection sites increase safety
Montreal Gazette-39 minutes ago
The sites have also been shown to reduce the number of used needles discarded in public spaces, and have slowed the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. So why ...

Medicaid and Hepatitis C Treatment Access.
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) at Harvard Law School recently released a report that analyzes hepatitis C treatment access in Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care programs in 10 states (including NYC). It also provides information about how advocates can use the report to advocate for expanded access to curative treatment.
See Report

On Friday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed that recent genetic test results support the conclusion that at least five patients contracted Hepatitis C from Dr. Allen Thomashefsky's medical practice in Santa Barbara.

Potential Liver Recipients May Have New Option
FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Livers from donors who suffered cardiac death can be safely and effectively transplanted into patients dying of liver cancer, a new study suggests.
A liver transplant can cure many liver cancer patients, but many die waiting for a liver because most transplant centers use only livers from brain-dead donors. This study tested livers from both brain-dead donors and donors after cardiac death.

Daklinza® (daclatasvir) - Treatment For Welsh Hepatitis C Patients With Advanced Liver Disease
All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has recommended Daklinza® (daclatasvir) to be used, in combination with other medicinal products, as an option to treat eligible NHS patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease.

Over one lakh people get infected by the deadly Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in India every year. Medical doctors and patient groups across India have strongly advocated the need to recognize Hepatitis C as a national health priority and implementation of an integrated action plan to address the growing burden of the disease in the country.

People now believe that by 2030, the US may become free of Hepatitis C. So while India has been late in screening, diagnosis, treatment, our goal should be to scale up in these areas as soon as possible and aim to get rid of the disease from our country by 2040-50.

Changes in Characteristics of HCV Patients in the Last Decade
Journal of Viral Hepatitis, June 5, 2015
In this study of 1348 patients with chronic hepatitis C newly referred to our liver centre, we found as expected patients seen in Era-2 (2011–2012) were older and more likely to have advanced liver disease compared to those seen a decade ago (Era-1, 1998–1999).

Fibrosis Progression in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver versus Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
Does liver fibrosis progress differently in NAFLD than in NASH? This new study investigates.

BOSTON (June 5, 2015) - A daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HRNCA) at Tufts University report today in the Journal of Hepatology.

America's obesity epidemic increasingly leading to liver damage, docs says
Losing 50 pounds gave Dennis Holley an unexpected benefit: A healthier liver.
For 20 years, the Centre Township, Perry County man battled a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which is a buildup of fat in the liver not caused by alcohol.

Controversy over the high cost of new HCV drugs 
Experts: Fight Hepatitis C epidemic with more testing, caps for co-pays
WASHINGTON, D.C. ( June 4, 2015 ) — With mounting evidence that many public and private health plans are deliberately rationing care for Americans with the hepatitis C virus ( HCV ), those on the front lines in fighting viral hepatitis and HIV/AIDS today urged lawmakers to overturn state Medicaid and managed care policies that discourage testing, add prior authorization requirements on clinicians, and create significant hurdles for patients to receive new curative treatments — all contributing to only 5% to 6% of individuals with HCV being successfully treated

Protests targeted high profile hedge fund investors who have reaped substantial profits from the California-based pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences. 
Hedge Fund Billionaires Are New Target for Hepatitis C Cure Protests
The New York City home and offices of former hedge fund manager Julian H. Robertson were targeted by protest groups in a series of simultaneous direct actions in early May. Robertson is ranked No. 512 on Forbes' list of "the world's billionaires" with a reported net worth of $3.4 billion. "Robertson is making a killing off of people with Hep C," read one sign.

Controversy swirls around cost of hepatitis C drug
A California woman last month sued her insurance provider over a drug to treat hepatitis C, the latest episode involving the skyrocketing costs of specialty medications.

Shima Andre, a freelance editor from West Hollywood, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in late 2011. She's estimated to be one of 3 million Americans living with the disease, which can go undiagnosed for years and eventually lead to liver scarring, cirrhosis, cancer and organ failure.

Bernstein’s Geoffrey Porges and team consulted Yale Professor Barry Nalebuff for thoughts on what game theory says about how Merck (MRK) might launch its hepatitis-C treatment and how Gilead Scences Gilead Sciences (GILD) should protect its position.

HIV and AIDS: Know the Facts
Treatments Work, but Prevention Is Key
It’s been more than 30 years since a disease now called AIDS was first recognized in the United States. Back then, it was considered a death sentence. No treatments were available, its cause was unknown, and people often died within a few months after being diagnosed. Today, people infected with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—can live full, healthy lives, in large part because of medicines and other discoveries made with NIH support.

The terms HIV and AIDS can be confusing, because they’re related but different. HIV is a virus that harms your immune system by invading and then destroying your infection-fighting white blood cells. AIDS is the final stage of an untreated HIV infection. People with AIDS can have a range of symptoms, because their weakened immune systems put them at risk for life-threatening infections and cancers.

Other Health News
The new blood test, which costs as little as $25 (€22), is reportedly able to detect over 1,000 strains of the 206 different types of viruses which are known to infect humans from just one drop of a patient's blood. It works by detecting the existing antibodies within a person's immune system that were created in the past to tackle viruses and have remained in the system in case the virus returns.

Talking With Your Doctor
Make the Most of Your Appointment
Patients and health care providers share a very personal relationship. Doctors need to know a lot about you, your family, and your lifestyle to give you the best medical care. And you need to speak up and share your concerns and questions. Clear and honest communication between you and your physician can help you both make smart choices about your health.

Begin with some preparation. Before your health exam, make a list of any concerns and questions you have. Bring this list to your appointment, so you won’t forget anything.

Hepatitis C: Now What?
I've spent the last 26 years of my life  thinking on and off about how good it would be to not have hep C. The older I've become and the more serious I've realized it is, the more it's played on my mind.

Coming Home after My Liver Transplant
By Karen Hoyt
The first few weeks coming home after my liver transplant was highly unpredictable.... and that is the understatement of the year.

In Case You Missed It
Webinar: Strategies for Hepatitis C Treatment Access
Join us Tuesday June 9 for a webinar covering strategies for attaining access to treatment for patients living with hepatitis C.

Pharma Execs Don't Know Why Anyone Is Upset by a $94,500 Miracle Cure
Over the past 18 months, the emergence of Harvoni and its predecessor, Sovaldi, has given tens of millions of hepatitis C patients around the world hope that they can be permanently rid of a debilitating illness. Not since the introduction of HIV/AIDS drug cocktails almost two decades ago has the appearance of a therapy spurred such demand. 

The promise of a cure, however, doesn’t come cheap. After Sovaldi received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2013, Gilead announced the drug would cost $84,000 for a 12-week course, or exactly $1,000 a pill. That’s more than double what Pharmasset, the biotech company that developed an early experimental version of the drug, initially said it planned to charge—until Gilead bought Pharmasset in 2011. For 2014, Sovaldi generated $10.3 billion in sales, making it one of the most lucrative pharmaceutical launches ever. In just the final three months of 2014, Harvoni added $2.1 billion. Gilead’s market capitalization has soared from $29 billion to $167 billion in five years. The net worth of its chief executive officer, John Martin, exceeds $1 billion.

NIH Suspends Drug Production for Trials After FDA Finds Contamination
File this under ‘How embarrassing!’

The U.S. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has suspended operations of its pharmaceutical development section – and ended production of drugs used for 46 clinical trials – after FDA inspectors last month found what were called “serious manufacturing problems and lack of compliance with standard operating procedures.”

June Newsletters: The Current State of Hepatitis C Therapy, Pain associated with hepatitis C and More...

Hepatitis Cruise, India Trips - Patients Get Extreme to Obtain Hepatitis Drug
Now, say hello to hep C tourism. As Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Florida-based Medical Tourism Association, told Bloomberg, "I know people who have hepatitis C and the only thing they can think about is getting this drug. There is definitely a high interest in going abroad.

Enjoy the weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment