Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HCV Next - Chipping Away at Medicaid Restrictions to DAA Coverage

HCV NEXT May Issue

Chipping Away at Medicaid Restrictions to DAA Coverage

"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 May print edition of HCV NEXT, provided online at Healio.

Table of Contents

5 Questions
A Conversation with Anthony Martinez, MD
Cover Story
In this issue, HCV Next asks five questions of Anthony Martinez, MD, clinical associate professor at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo.

Cover Story
A recent Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined policies surrounding coverage and access to hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid beneficiaries. The authors were sympathetic to ongoing concerns about the high cost of direct-acting antiviral therapies and expressed cautious optimism that market forces will ultimately drive those costs down.

With more than 10,000 attendees and a record-breaking number of presentation submissions, 2016’s International Liver Congress offered much support of our current knowledge of hepatitis C virus along with small, ground breaking studies in areas of need.

Meeting News Coverage
Liver Societies Pledge Solidarity in the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis
“The joint statement I have just received is groundbreaking and constitutes a pivotal movement. This conference will be remembered for when elimination of viral hepatitis was embraced,” Gottfried Hirnschall, MD, MPH, director of the HIV/AIDS department and global hepatitis program at the World Health Organization, said during the general session. “This means that the thousands of hepatologists, clinicians and experts who are members of the four organizations will be ambassadors of eliminating hepatitis in your own countries.”
The recommended guidelines are geared toward policy-makers in low- and middle-income countries who formulate country-specific treatment guidelines and who plan infectious disease treatment programs and services, as well as clinicians responsible for providing treatment, according to the guidelines. They are intended to promote the “scale-up of HCV treatment”, more specifically among people in low- and middle-income countries, where very few have access to these new treatments.

The Big Picture
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most common causes of liver disease in developed countries with an estimated prevalence of 30% and 33% in the United States and European populations, respectively. After excluding significant alcohol consumption and other secondary causes of steatosis (ie, medications), NAFLD can be defined by the presence of hepatic steatosis identified by either imaging or histology.

HCV Next board members and experts in attendance offered varying viewpoints on the data presented. Co-Chief Medical Editor, Ira M. Jacobson, MD, chair of the department of medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City; Zobair Younossi, MD, MPH, chairman of the department of medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, and vice president for research of Inova Health System; Eric J. Lawitz, MD, vice president of scientific and research development at The Texas Liver Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center; and Jordan J. Feld, MD, MPH, associated professor of medicine and research director of gastroenterology at the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease and HCV Next Editorial Board member shared their insights into the most compelling data and topics discussed at this year’s meeting.

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