Friday, September 4, 2015

TGIF Rewind - Free HCV Helpline With App and Big Questions about Hepatitis C

Welcome to TGIF rewind, a digest of this weeks publications, news and updates from around the web. 

In The News

Sept 5
Anger at hepatitis C trial with call for money to be spent on cures
A MEDICAL trial to teach hepatitis C sufferers how to avoid infecting their children with the virus has been criticised as fearmongering and a waste of desperately needed health funding.

The Program
New hepatitis C program to teach sufferers basic skills
A new program being trialled later this year will teach parents with hepatitis C how to reduce the chances of infecting their child.

The program, called Families Living Healthily with Hepatitis C, will teach sufferers how to better prevent the transmission of the blood borne disease to their children and families.

Sept 4
Free Helpline and App for Hepatitis C Patients Offer Peer Support and Self-Care Tools
Viral hepatitis is known as the silent epidemic, because it is a disease that is both under-recognized and underdiagnosed

Mechanism for air pollution-induced liver disease discovered
A research team led by Kezhong Zhang, Ph.D., at the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, has discovered that exposure to air pollution has a direct adverse health effect on the liver and causes liver fibrosis, an illness associated with metabolic disease and liver cancer.

Webinar: What Soaring Drug Prices Mean for Patients
Concerns over soaring drug prices have grown in recent months, and doctors have become increasingly outspoken about the extremely high prices of drugs used to treat diseases such as cancer, hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis.

We talk about the impact of Hepatitis C on future Medicaid drug trends, as well as options states have to address Hepatitis C now.

The pharmaceutical industry is feeling rising heat from all directions as a result of its excessive price increases that reflect a contempt for consumers and the nation's economy. In response, pharma has been mobilizing its defenders in the media and academia to deploy the industry's standard mixture of half-truths and outright distortions.

Therapy for Hepatitis C Genotype 3: Moving Forward
This article reviews the available therapy and the new treatment agents under development for patients with chronic hepatitis C GT3 infection.

This Editorial discusses three recent original papers related to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for the treatment of chronic genotype (GT) 4 HCV infection, published in this issue of the Journal of Hepatology

Hepatitis C - Fibrosis index based on four factors better predicts advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis than aspartate aminotransferase/platelet ratio index
Hepatic fibrosis is one of the important factors associated with the long-term prognosis of CHC patients. If noninvasive methods could accurately predict the severity of hepatic fibrosis, the majority of liver biopsies could be avoided.

Can vaccination contribute to hepatitis C elimination efforts?  Q+A 
In a recent research article published in BMC Medicine, Nick Scott and colleagues used a mathematical modeling approach to show that vaccination is likely to play a role in reducing hepatitis C prevalence. Dr Scott answers our questions about the ...

What Hepatitis C Patients Need to Know When Starting Sovaldi Regimen
Published on Sep 4, 2015 Specialty Pharmacy Times
Michael Sofia, PhD, the inventor of the groundbreaking hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, discusses what patients can expect when they begin a therapeutic regimen with the drug.

In Case You Missed It - Hepatitis C treatment and quality of life You can’t always get what you want, but you might get what you need

Published in Journal Of Hepatology
Published online: May 13 2015


Key Words - Antiviral therapy; Hepatitis C; Ledipasvir; Quality of life; Ribavirin; Sofosbuvir

Hepatitis C treatment and quality of life – You can’t always get what you want, but you might get what you need
Gautam Mehta, Geoffrey Dusheiko UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, UCL Medical School, Royal Free Campus, London NW3 2PF, United Kingdom 

As shown in this study, symptoms are in fact associated with the presence of the virus, and a treatment effect and effect of cure on HRQL is evident. Will curing hepatitis C, and the symptomatic improvements observed in these trials, translate into improved work productivity and economic gain with these high cost regimens? Presently payers seek improvements in “hard” measurable outcomes such as hospitalisation for hepatic decompensation, transplantation rates, a reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma, and deaths attributable to hepatitis C. Whether these discernible improvements, in quality of life and productivity, will persuade payers to fund treatment for those with minimal fibrosis remains to be seen. The situation is akin to the words of a famous rock band of the 1960s, ‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need...’
Continue reading @ J Hepatol

This Week In The News

World Hepatitis Summit harnesses global momentum to eliminate viral hepatitis
Around 400 million people are currently living with viral hepatitis, and the disease claims an estimated 1.45 million lives each year, making it one of the world’s leading causes of death. Hepatitis B and C together cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths, yet most people living with chronic viral hepatitis are unaware of their infection.

More than 200,000 Brits chronically infected with HCV
Around 214,000 individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV) in the UK, national estimates from Public Health England (PHE) suggest Hide related content: Show related content read more (Source: Nursing in Practice)

The Next HCV Drugs
10 promising new treatments are currently in development.


In a September 2 editorial, The New York Times Editorial Board concludes that “competitive market forces and hard-nosed bargaining” make “tremendously effective” new hepatitis C medicines not just more accessible to ailing patients – but also offer good value to the U.S. health care system.
Continue reading @

Editorial: When is the high cost of prescription drugs too high?
Friday, September 4, 2015 4:51pm
Other countries establish formulas that force drug treatments to prove cost effectiveness. By their nature, these systems place a dollar value on human life and suffering, an unpleasant prospect that America has so far avoided. Somehow, though, Congress must allow Medicare to find ways to limit costs — including allowing Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies. 
Continue reading @ Tampa Bay Times 

Costly Hepatitis C Drugs for Everyone?
September 2, 2015, Wednesday - BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Competition and discounts are going a long way toward resolving the problem of expensive hepatitis C drugs.
Key clinical point: Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks achieved high SVR rates among patients with hepatitis C virus infection and advanced liver disease.

Meta-analysis- SVR and its Treatment Predictors in HCV Genotype 4 Compared to Genotypes 1, 2, and 3
Does treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin bring about sustained virological response in HCV genotype 4 as compared to genotypes 1, 2, and 3?

Patients With Renal Disease: One of the Remaining Challenges in HCV Therapy
Nancy Reau MD
A recent patient discussion highlighted important questions about how to approach HCV infection in renal disease.

Updates Around The Web

Big Questions about Hepatitis C

HCV Advocate September Newsletter
Hepatitis C in Children
by Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Find out what the prevalence of hepatitis C is in children, what the consequences are and what can be done about it.

HealthWise: Big Questions about Hepatitis C
by Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Lucinda answers the “Big Questions about Hepatitis C” including what does “not detected” mean when treatment is finished, what does “cured” mean and a recurring question about treatment and toothbrushes and many more questions….and answers!

by Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
This month’s column includes a brief overview of the antihistamine that is purported to have antiviral properties against hepatitis C, and a couple of brief overviews of Baby Boomer testing initiatives at two different hospitals.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs Booklet
by Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
I discuss my experience shopping around for the best buy for a generic drug for my dog—Buddy—and a very good resource for people from Consumer Reporters that is free of charge.

Download September Newsletter

What’s New!
by Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
What’s New features two of our new Easy C fact sheets as well as our Training Workshop schedule for the rest of the year!

HCV Advocate Eblast: September 1, 2015
Attention: There are many insurance companies that are denying coverage of HCV medications to only the sickest of patients. I am working on a brief

Blog Updates

Karen Hoyt
You've wondered where I’ve been, so here’s the truth. I’m working on a post transplant nervous breakdown. It kind of started a few weeks ago. I was seated at my fave outdoor restaurant (to avoid germs) typing away from my notes. It was a blog titled “I Can Do Anything”. I’ve always said that, and I’ve always tried. Really tried. Hard. Always. Anyway, here I was looking at my own thoughts through a microscope when I realized that I can’t do everything. POW! Sucker punched, right there on the patio.

Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 2010, Hep Blogs and are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.

David Pieper
HIV/Hep C Co-infection activist; on treatment
4 September: The tip of the iceberg
There are 25 million people living with viral hepatitis in Indonesia. This is a tragedy. It puts my treatment experience into context and I realise that I am the merest tip of the iceberg
click here to enter

Grace Campbell
A nom de guerre for a person living with hepatitis C on Viekira Pak + Ribavirin
My Year of Living With Hepatitis C
I have four more days of treatment. Four more days of thinking about treatment. Then I can switch to thinking about treatment in the past tense. And no doubt I'll find something else to obsess over
click here to enter

National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
 First-Ever World Hepatitis Summit meeting this week in Glasgow
An invite-only, exclusive event that will be the first of its kind to directly address the overwhelming global burden of viral hepatitis.
click here to enter

Connie M. Welch
Passionate Encourager for Christ, Writer, Speaker, and Hep C Warrior
Living Beyond Hep C with Faith and Trust
Hep C knows no boundaries, it does not hold back from race, sex, religion, social status, rich or poor, or country. Hep C like any other serious health condition causes you to look on the inside out of life.
click here to enter

Matt Starr
Hepatitis, Liver Disease Support Coach
 Hep C Meds - The Home Stretch
But, it's not easy sometimes to stay positive as effects of meds and liver disease compromise you.
click here to enter

Greg Jefferys
My Hep C Travel Diary, Hepatitis C Advocate
Hepatitis C Headlines, Hacking, and Scams
I need to again mention that there are a LOT of Harvoni scams going around now. I make the point again that there is no generic Harvoni in India at the moment, or anywhere else in the world.
click here to enter

Stay well, see you soon...

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