Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Sunday Weekend Reading: Hepatitis Blog and Publication Updates

Weekend Reading: Hepatitis Blog and Publication Updates

Hello everyone, baby its cold outside, sure hope its warmer in your part of the world.

This issue of "Weekend Reading" is provided by a small group of dedicated bloggers who share their personal stories, spread awareness, as well as offer patient friendly information to people living with viral hepatitis.

Grab your favorite beverage, sit back and start reading; how to keep your liver safe while taking over-the-counter medication this flu season, a patient with HCV looks into Parkinson's disease, key elements important to understand about HCV, and the evil exorbitant price of new drugs. In addition check out an article written over at HepatitisCnet, discussing the Wyden-Grassley US Senate Investigation into the pricing of Sovaldi. here....

Blog Updates

Hepatitis C Treatment Denied? Try Again in 2016
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Jan 12
If you were denied hepatitis C treatment in 2015, you may want to resubmit in 2016. That's because some insurance companies and state Medicaid programs are loosening their hepatitis C treatment requirements.
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Cirrhosis is Not the End

By Karen Hoyt
I hear a lot from people who have cirrhosis from living with the Hepatitis C Virus. When I learned that the virus had taken me to end stage, or stage 4,
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Hepatitis C: Don’t Squander the Cure
Jan 11
The sobering news is that adherence remains a significant challenge—and one that can jeopardize patients’ chances of a sustained cure, experts said at the 2015 National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Annual Meeting & Expo.

Getting Generic Hep C Treatment in the USA
By Greg Jefferys
January 10, 2016
Today I received an email from a doctor in the USA written on behalf of several of his patients who have Hep C but can not afford to pay for the treatment in the USA. This doctor was a rare one for a US doctor because he was prepared to do anything to help his patients get the generic Hep C treatment. He would write a prescription, monitor their treatment, support them if the FDA tried to block their meds. Anything to see his patients cured of this easily treated disease.
Continue reading....

It’s Flu Season: Protect Your Liver from Unintentional Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Overdose
Jan 5 2016
Cold season is here and sometimes the flu vaccine and washing our hands just aren’t enough to keep colds at bay. If you do get sick, make sure the over-the-counter (OTC) medication you take doesn’t damage your liver while it’s relieving your cold symptoms

The Wyden-Grassley US Senate Investigation Into The Pricing Of Sovaldi: A Report Part II
By Transplanted 
Jan 9
Sovaldi, the main component of Harvoni, was developed by Pharmasset, a small workbench pharmaceutical company. From its outset, the company had focused on developing drugs for HIV, HBV and hepatitis C.
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The Wyden-Grassley US Senate Investigation Into The Pricing Of Sovaldi: A Report Part I
By Transplanted—January 5, 2016
I began with an open mind. Like everyone else, when I first became aware of the high price of Gilead Sciences’ front line cures for hepatitis C, I was shocked. At $1,000 per pill, my first thought was, never take this drug while standing over the kitchen sink. However, my reaction was soon tempered by news of Gilead’s patient assistant program. I was so relieved, I wrote about it. Gilead encouraged patients to try for approval with their insurances. After two denials, patients needed only to present proof of infection, a script, and a recommendation from their doctors, and Gilead would then supply Harvoni at little or no cost. 

Is Combination Therapy Most Effective for HBV Infection?
A significantly greater proportion of patients receiving a combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and pegylated interferon-α (peginterferon) for 48 weeks lost hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), a marker of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA transcriptional activity, compared to patients given the standard care (peginterferon or TDF alone), researchers report in the January 2016 issue of Gastroenterology.
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Episode 68: Hepatitis C and Parkinson's Disease Linked--Could This Be the Answer?
Mary Dell
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Last month, I finally met with my gastroenterologist, who will look into treating my Hep C after he does a few other tests relating to my digestive problems--specifically, a colonoscopy in early February. He informs me, however, thatinsurance companies will not pay for treatment unless one is showing signs of liver degeneration.

The eminent Dr. A., my local neurologist, told me c. 2013 that I have some sort of neurodegenerative disease, but he couldn't say for sure which one it might be. "If you had white matter disease in your cervical spine," he told me, "I would say you have MS." I don't, though. I just have white matter lesions all through my brain. What are they? Could they be the Lewy bodies of Parkinson's?
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HCV simplified: Confused yet? 
By Daryl Luster - January 7, 2016
Just to be clear, I am not about to try and simplify the expansive complexities of the clinical or scientific aspects of HCV. Well… if you are like me at first, you... 
Drug And Alcohol Metabolism: The Human Cytochrome System
By Transplanted - January 6, 2016
More than two decades ago, a young man came home from a night of hard drinking and took the drug, acetaminophen, for his hangover. The next day, he was in surgery undergoing... 

Hepatitis C Treatment Set to Make More History in 2016
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
January 7, 2016
In a couple of weeks, the FDA is expected to rule on Merck's new hepatitis C treatment for genotypes 1,4, and 6. Zepatier is a single pill formulated with two drugs: grazoprevir and elbasvir. In a phase 3 clinical trials, the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate was 95 percent. Fatigue, headache, nausea, and diarrhea were the most

7 January 2015: Saturday night fever
By David Pieper 
January 7, 2016
After the pre -Christmas good news about PBS access to Direct Acting Antivirals in Australia, I was pleased to take a break from what has been two solid years of campaigning to get to that point. Some of the finer details are still to be worked out but it is clear all Australians with hep C will be able to access treatment with Harvoni orsofosbuvir and daclatasvir from March 2016. There is no information yet on the availability of Viekira Pak.
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From Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News
Special Reports
JANUARY 7, 2016
Evidence-Based Treatments for GI and Liver Disorders Powered by Extensive Research and Clinical Trials
Research is uncovering earlier means of diagnosing HCV infection, which together with emerging drug regimens is critical for avoiding cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Download to read this article in PDF format:
CDC seeks more testing for ‘huge uptick’ in HCV incidence
By Mollie Durkin
Screening everyone born from 1945 to 1965 at least once would be able to diagnose 75% of people who are living with chronic hepatitis C, according to one expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Warning on HCV treatments; more cancer drugs approved
By Mollie Durkin
Recalls and warnings
A warning that combination dasabuvir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir (Viekira Pak) and combination ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir used in combination with ribavirin (Technivie) can cause serious liver injury, mostly in patients with underlying advanced liver disease.
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In Case You Missed It

Op-ed: Exorbitant drug prices are nothing short of evil
Salt Lake Tribune
It cost her about $13,000 for 11 months of difficult treatments to be cured, thereby avoiding liver cirrhosis later in life, not to mention infecting others over time.

Jan 8 2016
Recent findings Patients with genotype 3 infection have consistently lower rates of virological clearance following DAA therapy when compared with other genotypes. However, in combination with sofosbuvir, the novel nonstructural protein 5A inhibitor daclatasvir has demonstrated high efficacy in the treatment of noncirrhotic genotype 3 infection.

The Hepatitis C Revolution Part 1
This review article discusses novel hepatitis C virus treatment options in hopes to clarify best available evidence for clinicians treating patients with HCV.

Health You

Study Finds Gut Microbacteria Influences Obesity and Liver Disease
Jan 06, 2016 | Rachel Lutz
Gut microbial makeup could be at fault for obesity and diabetes because of the liver’s fat processing methods, according to a study published in Cell Metabolism. 

Researchers from Penn State tested the popular misconception that plant derived dietary fiber contains zero calories to demonstrate how an increase in fiber could affect a typical diet. Some studies from the National Institutes of Health recommended that Americans should add more fiber to their diets to improve some aspects of health, but the researchers found otherwise. 

The researchers said that gut microbiota ferment the plant derived fibers unable to be digested in human and mice stomachs and release them as short chain fatty acids like acetic acid, which are full of energy. As such, when these acids reach the liver, they can convert to lipids and add to fat reserves, the researchers explained. 

31 Days of Wellness: Reduce the Number of Pills You Take
by DR. JOE GALATI on 01/08/2016
Wellness come in a lot of different flavors. Please give thought to the number of medicines you are on (or someone else you know). Wellness should not be measured by how many pills you take. It’s a national epidemic I see everyday where adults take so many medicines that they have no idea what they are, or how they work. This leads to medication errors, overdoses, drug-drug interactions, and an overall sense that modern medicine is simply prescribing a bunch of medicines without taking a closer look at what is actually wrong with the person.
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Blood Pressure Matters Keep Hypertension in Check
Early diagnosis and simple, healthy changes can keep high blood pressure from seriously damaging your health.
Download a PDF version of NIH News in Health

Off The Cuff

The 10 Most Toxic Items at Dollar Stores
The low price may not be worth your health.
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Stay warm!

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