Saturday, November 14, 2015

HCV NEXT November Issue - Pricing Pressures: How the Business of Medicine Affects the Price of Therapy

HCV NEXT November Issue

Pricing Pressures: How the Business of Medicine Affects the Price of Therapy

"HCV Next" offers information on a range of topics, which include diagnosis, new combination therapies, side effects, drug/drug interaction, guidelines, practice management issues, to name a few.

The following articles appeared in the November print edition of HCV NEXT, provided online at Healio.

Table of Contents
A Conversation with Phillip O. Coffin, MD
In this issue, HCV Next asks five questions of Phillip O. Coffin, MD, director of substance use research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and assistant professor in the division of HIV/AIDS at the University of California, San Francisco.
In the HCV community, there is little that has not been said about the cost of direct-acting antiviral therapies. From the dais on the main stage at EASL to private conversations in clinics and coffee shops, most experts have weighed in on the new HCV therapies’ price tags, the possible impact of competition in the marketplace and the efforts to provide drugs for those who cannot afford them. HCV Next has covered much of this ground, from the first approval of sofosbuvir to the deal Gilead struck with the Egyptian government, bringing affordable treatment to millions of patients in that country.

Payers are pushing back because even though a drug is “cost effective” from a societal perspective because curing HCV saves money in the long run, paying for all of this at one time breaks the bank.

In a retrospective study, researchers found that the uptake of direct-acting antivirals, specifically Victrelis and Incivek, increased among veterans with HCV over time, however, prescriptions for interferon-based therapy were still prevalent.

Recent HCV Patients Show More Complications than Decades Prior
According to data from a retrospective study, researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found that patients with hepatitis C virus infection treated in 2011 and 2012 had more advanced liver disease vs. patients seen in 1998 and 1999

Delaying HCV Therapy Among PWID Leads to Advanced Liver Diseases
In a new meta-analysis and systematic review, researchers from New York University found that people who injected drugs who were also positive for hepatitis C virus infection were likely to develop liver problems later in life if left untreated, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to published findings in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

'Safety net' hospitals need to implement baby boomer HCV screening
The implementation of a hepatitis C virus infection screening system for baby boomers should be a top priority for safety net hospitals, which serve a disproportionate number of low-income and Medicaid patients, according to published findings in Hepatology.

Rising HCV-Relatedn Mortality in US Greater Than all Other Infectious Diseases
SAN DIEGO — Hepatitis C virus is now the most frequently recorded underlying or contributing infection on death certificates in the United States, superseding all 60 other infectious conditions reported to CDC combined and unabated by improving antiviral therapy, according to data presented at IDWeek 2015.

Researchers Find Possible Link Between Marijuana, HCV
HONOLULU — Any use of marijuana was found to be associated with a positive hepatitis C antibody serum test, according to a poster presentation at ACG 2015.
HONOLULU — Patients with hepatitis C virus infection who achieved a sustained virologic response after curative treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma had increased overall survival with a decreased rate of recurrence, according to findings presented at ACG 2015.

HepQuant-STAT Predicts HCV Patients' Risk for Clinical Outcomes
SAN DIEGO — The HepQuant-STAT, a liver function test, was more accurate in predicting patients’ risk for hepatitis C virus infection clinical outcomes compared with a liver biopsy, according to data from the HALT-C trial presented at IDWeek 2015.

Judith Steinberg, MD, MPH
The Patient Centered Medical Home is a model of care that is ideal for patients with HIV and hepatitis C virus. Although you may not be familiar with or think your practice is a patient-centered medical home, or PCMH, many HIV practices or clinics providing HIV care — and, in turn, HCV care — have developed a medical home model through Ryan White Care Act funding.
Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Computational Health Informatics Program have developed an iPhone application that allows patients with hepatitis C virus infection to track their own health and be more involved in outcomes research for the infection, according to a press release.

FDA Issues Warning AbbVie Explains Label Changes for HCV Drugs
The FDA released a statement warning of serious liver injury caused by the hepatitis C virus treatments ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir plus dasabuvir and ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir in patients with pre-existing advanced liver disease. In response, AbbVie spoke to HCV Next about the changes they have implemented to the drug labels to reflect this risk.

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