Monday, July 11, 2016

Watch - New Opportunities and Challenges in Hepatitis C

New Opportunities and Challenges in Hepatitis C
The American Journal of Managed Care

Hepatitis C is an enormously common disease that is often initially asymptomatic. New drugs are very effective, but expensive, and there has been reluctance to cover these treatments. Authors that published research in the hepatitis C special issue present their findings.

Introduction to HCV Briefing
Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, opens up the hepatitis C virus (HCV) briefing, which highlighted research published in The American Journal of Managed Care's special issue on HCV. He provided a brief overview of the scope of HCV infection in the US and around the world, as well as the reluctance on the part of payers to cover the expensive drugs, even though they essentially cure the disease.

Dr Darius Lakdawalla on the "Dismal Economics" of Paying for HCV Treatments
Darius Lakdwalla, PhD, gave attendees a better understanding of "the dismal science of economics" as it relates to the HCV cures. Since hepatitis C is largely asymptomatic for a number of years, it takes a while for the benefit of treatment to accrue, he explained. "If you compare people who are successfully treated, essentially cured with no viral load in their body, and compare them to other people with hepatitis C, who still are infected with the virus, over the first couple of years there's not a really big difference in death rates among those 2 populations," he explained.

Dr Anupam Jena Outlines the Wider Public Health Value of Treating HCV
Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, outlined the wider public health value of treating HCV. As an infectious disease, curing one person reduces the likelihood of other people getting infected, which changes the way the value of drugs that treat and cure HCV is viewed.

Ryan Clary Addresses Discriminatory Practices that Reduce Access to HCV Treatments
Ryan Clary and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, which co-hosted the briefing with the journal, have been working to expand access to treatments and end discriminatory restrictions against people who have HCV.

Read more... The American Journal of Managed Care

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