Monday, June 6, 2016

June Hep C Newsletters - Medicaid programs should be taking “a long hard look” at their drug policies under state and federal law

June Hepatitis Newsletters and Updates

It's that time of the month for our index of June Newsletters, with noteworthy updates from around the web. 

Web Updates

Ele Hamburger: Medicaid programs should be taking “a long hard look” at their drug policies under state and federal law

Ele Hamburger, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the recent lawsuit against the Washington Health Care Authority, the state Medicaid agency, over its Hepatitis C drug policy, sat down with State of Reform to talk about the case which is already having national implications.

June 6
We cover news in other states where similar policies of cost-based rationing for Hepatitis-C drugs are in place for Medicaid programs. Do you think it likely that other states will begin to model themselves after Washington following this decision?
Ele Hamburger: I think as a result of this case, Medicaid programs should be a taking a long hard look at whether their rationing criteria are justified under the state and federal law. When you have CMS saying it is not proper, and a federal judge saying it is inconsistent with federal Medicaid law, we hope you’re going to start to see other state programs eliminating those restrictions voluntarily.
That’s what just happened in Florida on the same day, Friday May 27. Advocates there went to Florida’s Medicaid Program and asked “do you really want this fight?” And they ended up resolving it.
In New York State, the AG [Attorney General Eric Schneiderman] started going after private insurers over rationing [of HCV medications] and got voluntary agreements from many of them to eliminate it, and then the state Medicaid program followed suit. In Pennsylvania, it has been eliminated through organizing and advocacy without litigation.

Save The Date - Twitter Chat June 15 @ 2 p.m. EDT
Join Hep B United, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, and the Hepatitis B Foundation for a Twitter #HepChat Wednesday, June 15 at 2 p.m. EDT. The chat will highlight Hepatitis Awareness Month outreach events and allow hepatitis B and C partner organizations to share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their efforts.
VIDEO: Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir may offer improved patient reported outcomes
June 6
SAN DIEGO — In this exclusive video from DDW 2016, Zobair Younossi, MD, MPH, chairman of the department of medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, and vice president for research of Inova Health System, discusses new data showing the pan-genotypic regimen of a fixed-dose combination of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir, Gilead Sciences) and velpatasvir (Gilead Sciences) was associated with improved patient reported outcomes, or PROs.
Watch the video, here

Clinical Care Options
Date posted: 6/1/2016

In this downloadable slideset, Ira M. Jacobson, MD, reviews the newest regimens and data for genotype 1 HCV infection.
Free registration required

Hepatitis C Spread by Alternative Therapy
Injections given as an alternative medical treatment known as "prolotherapy" or "regenerative injection therapy" spread hepatitis C among at least seven patients of 400 who were potentially exposed. All were treated at a clinic in Santa Barbara, CA, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Top hepatitis stories for Hepatitis Awareness Month
May 30, 2016
As Hepatitis Awareness Month comes to an end, and HCV Next have compiled a list of the latest, most relevant research on hepatitis B and C virus infections published on in May.

In Case You Missed It

EASL: Summary from EASL 2016 for Hepatitis C Highly efficacious pan-genotypic DAA combinations on their way: the last gaps in difficult-to-treat patient populations are going to be closed soon. - Jurgen K. Rockstroh M.D., Professor of Medicine University of Bonn, Germany

Foretelling toxicity: FDA researchers work to predict risk of liver injury from drugs
In December 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug cocktail, from the Chicago-based pharmaceutical company AbbVie, to treat hepatitis C infection. Less than a year later, the agency warned that the cocktail, Viekira Pak, and another, newer AbbVie hepatitis C therapy could cause serious liver injury in individuals with advanced liver disease. The agency noted that it had received reports of at least 26 cases of liver injuries that might have been caused by the drugs...

June Newsletters

HCV Advocate
The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education.

June Newsletter

Dear Advocaters,

Summer is right around the corner and we have you covered for the latest news about hepatitis C with our newsletters, website and our blog.

In the current issue of the HCV Advocate newsletter we feature the following articles:
Snapshots by Alan Franciscus – detailed abstracts about the benefits of curing people with cirrhosis, and the association between head and neck cancers and hepatitis C virus.

“Facing Unique Hurdles in Pursuit of Healthcare” by Matthew Zielske delves into testing, linkage to care and the many barriers that face people with hepatitis C.

HealthWise by Lucinda Porter, RN – “Hepatitis C: Working with a Health Coach”—Lucinda discusses her health coach journey and how to find a health coach that might work for you.

The HCV Advocate Drug Pipeline by Alan Franciscus – I have updated our Drug Pipeline to include more information about the Merck new pan-genotypic drugs being developed to treat hepatitis C.

What’s Up! – We have reviewed and updated the following:
A Guide to Understanding HCV: 2016 – the guide was updated to reflect the newly released epidemiology numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Easy C Facts:
HIV and HCV Coinfection Facts
Methadone and HCV
HCV and Hepatitis B Coinfection
HCV and Transgender People

We always welcome any comments or suggestions.


Alan and the staff of the HCV Advocate

Get tested, Get Treated, Get Cured

View all newsletters here....

Connect With HCV Advocate


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 and Hep Magazine are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.

HEP Summer 2016 - Special Issue

In This Issue
Super Friend: Gloria Guzman Inspires Others Hoping for a Hep C Cure
Gloria Guzman, a peer educator at the Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center in Brooklyn, knows a thing or two about survival. At 67, she’s lived through bad relationships, the loss of a child, addiction, HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Thankfully, she’s now cured of hep C.

Screening Among 
Baby Boomers Is Inadequate
Despite guidelines calling for universal testing of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among baby boomers, testing rates remain low, with various demographic factors influencing who is screened, as well as who is treated.

Treating Hepatitis C Earlier Is More Cost Effective
Using Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) when individuals with genotype 1 of the virus have milder cases of liver fibrosis is more cost effective than waiting until their liver disease progresses. Researchers came to this conclusion by devising a mathematical model to help them estimate how earlier versus delayed treatment, specifically among those never before treated for the virus, affected the proportional cost associated with improving their life span as well as individual health.

View more

Stay updated

NYC Hep C Task Force
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force is a city-wide network of service providers and advocates concerned with hepatitis C and related issues. The groups come together to learn, share information and resources, network, and identify hepatitis C related needs in the community. Committees form to work on projects in order to meet needs identified by the community.

Check Back For June Newsletter....

May 2016 Hep Free NYC Newsletter

View All Newsletters
Subscribe to this Newsletter

Join Us



HepCBC Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Society

The hepc.bull, has been “Canada’s hepatitis C journal” since the late 1990′s and has been published nonstop since 2001. The monthly newsletter contains the latest research results, government policy changes, activities and campaigns you can get involved in, articles by patients and caregivers, and a list of support groups plus other useful links.

Just Released May Newsletter

May, 2016 hepc.bull HERE.

Attend Hearings on Blood Scandal Funds at Vancouver Courthouse: June 20-22 (p 6)
Enjoy HepCBC's Roadshow Outreach trip to Northern Rural and Remote BC! (p 4)

Give your Patient or Caregiver Input to get Sunvepra™ covered by PharmaCare (p 7)


· HepCBC Participates in Review of BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS - HCV-Related Cirrhosis Prevalence Increases over Time - CT Scans: Another HCV Transmission Route - Curing HCV can Reverse Need for Liver Transplant - page 1

· Hepatic Encephalopathy Drug Zaxine™ (rifamaxin) soon to be Covered in All Provinces EXCEPT BC! - page 2

· Upcoming HepCBC EVENTS looking for Visitors and VOLUNTEERS! - page 3

· Photo Essay on HCV Outreach Roadshow to Rural and Remote BC now Online - New Hepatitis C Dietary Supplement Digest by NCCIH - $1500 HCV CURE (Using Generic Drugs) - page 4

· Join "HepCBC Liver Warriors" Team in 2016 Victoria Marathon! - Looking for Potential HepCBC Board Members - Welcome to SVR "Honour Roll" - Upcoming International Conferences - page 5

· ATTEND June 20-22 BLOOD SCANDAL HEARINGS in VANCOUVER (or Montreal or Toronto!) - Patient Input Requested by BC Pharmacare for Sunvepra™ (asunaprevir) - WORLD Hepatitis Day 2016 - Daklinza™ (daclatasvir) Approved by Health Canada for Difficult-to-Treat Patients - page 6

· Medication Co-Pay Subsidy and Care Programs - Compensation Info - page 7

June Newsletter
Please Check Back... 

View All Newsletters, Here

Stay Connected


Blog Updates

Some people actually have the words “I told you I was sick” engraved on their tombstone. That SO would be like me. From the age of 30 on I was telling my doctors that my food didn’t metabolize well, my body ached, there was dizziness, fatigue, and a bunch of other symptoms. I honestly felt like a hypochondriac some of the time...

When the Pain won't go away
Kimberly Morgan Bossley
It is a daily struggle to manage pain while trying to manage a active life

Hepatitis C Treatment and a Tincture of Perseverance
Lucinda K. Porter, RN
A discussion about insurance coverage of hepatitis C treatment

Generic Hepatitis C Treament in the UK... Things are improving
Greg Jefferys
Progress regarding hep C generics is happening, albeit slowly

Main Site
Your Guide To Hepatitis

These special issues of Hep provide information and education for people living with viral hepatitis, including hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis A (HAV).

Today's Headlines

Original Articles

How To Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial
By Mariah Z. Leach - June 6, 2016
Though the statistics vary somewhat from state to state, nationwide about 65% of all disability claims are denied on the first application. Luckily, receiving a denial does not mean that you will...

Expertise and HCV
By Daryl Luster - June 5, 2016
I have always been a little uncomfortable with the term “expert” but do understand that it describes a person having expertise in a given subject or field. The reason I am writing...

Talking to Loved Ones about Hepatitis C
By Jenelle Marie Davis - June 2, 2016
I just got diagnosed, how do I tell my family/friends? As you sit in your doctor’s office or clinic after a positive hepatitis C diagnosis, your first instinct may be to run...

Dr. Kristine Novak is the science editor for Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She has worked as an editor at biomedical research journals and as a science writer for 15 years, covering advances in gastroenterology, hepatology, cancer, immunology, biotechnology, molecular genetics, and clinical trials. She has a PhD in cell biology and an interest in all areas of medical research.

Can Blood Levels of Ammonia Predict Risk and Frequency of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients With Cirrhosis?
Fasting levels of ammonia (NH3) in blood identify patients at risk for complications of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE), researchers report in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Patients with HE might benefit from NH3-lowering therapy. Humans have no repository for excess dietary nitrogen, so we convert excess dietary

What is
The mission of is to improve the public dialogue about health care by helping consumers critically analyze claims about health care interventions and by promoting the principles of shared decision-making reinforced by accurate, balanced and complete information about the tradeoffs involved in health care decisions. evaluates health care journalism, advertising, marketing, public relations and other messages that may influence consumers and provides criteria that consumers can use to evaluate these messages themselves. Improving the quality and flow of health care news and information to consumers can be a significant step towards meaningful health care reform.

Readers drowning in flawed “liquid biopsy” stories; other coverage throws a lifeline
The big story out of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting over the weekend came from a study about so-called “liquid biopsies.” Major news organizations headlined it as follows:
Washington Post: ‘Liquid biopsy’ study offers hope for a blood test to find cancer
New York Times: ‘Liquid’ Cancer Test Offers Hope for Alternative to Painful Biopsies
TIME magazine: A blood test for cancer gets closer
I think many if not most news consumers are likely to draw the wrong conclusion from these messages.

As these stories later point out with varying levels of urgency, the study involved blood samples from people already known to have cancer. And the researchers compared results from these samples with biopsy tissue samples that were available for about 400 patients. The point was to compare the profile of the tumor as assessed by the blood sample with the existing surgical biopsy sample.
The researchers were not trying to “find cancer” as the Post misleadingly suggests. Nor did the study involve a “blood test for cancer” as TIME states. The cancer had already been found and diagnosed using a surgical biopsy. (Despite the hyped suggestions.....
Read more....


Of Interest

Researchers were able to improve liver damage in mice, but this does not amount to curing an addiction to alcohol.

The study showed it was possible to create "bespoke friendly" viruses to infect cells known as myofibroblasts, which are cells associated with tissue repair. The virus passed on instructions that transformed the myofibroblasts into healthy liver cells in mice who had fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, known as cirrhosis.

Not all the experiments in the mice worked, but in those that did, the transformed liver cells looked and behaved normally, replaced some of the diseased liver cells, and led to less liver scarring

Healthy You

Check out the June issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark

Can You Lengthen Your Life?
Researchers Explore How To Stay Healthy Longer
The best way to boost your chance of living a long and active life is through healthy behaviors, including regular physical activity.
Read more about living healthy and longer

Seeking Allergy Relief
When Breathing Becomes Bothersome

When sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes suddenly appear, allergies may be to blame.

Health Capsules
Experimental Therapy Shows Promise for Type 1 Diabetes

Complementary Approaches for Depression

Featured Website: Prescription Drug Abuse

Wishing you all a wonderful summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment