Sunday, October 2, 2016

October; HCV Blogs, Newsletters, and Flu Updates

October Updates

Autumn kicks off with a beautiful day here in Michigan, I hope the sun is shinning in your part of the world as well.

Here is a look at October updates from around the web.

*Make sure to download; Oral combination therapies for HCV infection: Successes, challenges, and unmet needs. Published online at the end of September, found on this page under - In Case You Missed It.  

The Flu And You

Have you been reading all about this years flu season? If so you may be wondering how early is too early to get vaccinated; so many opinions in the news this year. Bottom line? Last week Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressed the subject - urging us to get that flu shot as soon as possible. To learn more about this topic or access other updates view, Baby Boomers - Get Your Flu Shot. In addition read more on the benefit of vaccination for people living with chronic liver disease and those over the age of 50. Finally watch a few videos that discuss changes to this years CDC recommendations, start here.

Creating a World Free of Hepatitis C
Welcome to my website and blog. My name is Lucinda Porter and I am a nurse committed to raising awareness about hepatitis C. I believe that we can create a world free of hepatitis C. We do this together, one step at a time.

Latest Entry
By Lucinda Porter
Can I Get a Flu Shot?
I had the flu three times in my life, and it taught me one thing—I get a flu shot every year. Last year, despite having a flu shot in October, I got the flu anyway. It happens. Flu shots only protect us from the most common strains that are predicted for that year, and the predicted strains are included in the vaccine. Some years, the vaccines have better coverage than other years.

The Now@NEJM blog, produced by the NEJM publishing communications team, is about new and innovative content in the New England Journal of Medicine ( Our goal is to inform you about what’s new and provide some additional context to complement the content published in NEJM.

Latest Entry
At what time of the year are decisions made regarding the composition of each annual influenza vaccine?
The specific influenza viruses that will be included in the vaccine each year are determined by worldwide surveillance and antigenic characterization of human viral isolates by the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System of the World Health Organization. Currently, the production process requires that these decisions be made in February to allow for the production of vaccines to be distributed in the Northern Hemisphere in the following fall.

In The News
Certain Parents More Likely to Skip Kids’ Flu Shot
October 03, 2016.
By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Children who see "alternative" health providers, such as acupuncturists or massage therapists, are less likely than other kids to get their annual flu shot, a new study suggests.

Hepatitis C Blogs

Stay up to date on Hepatitis C news, hear from our patient advocates and physician experts. The Headlines will provide tips and tools for living with and managing Hepatitis C.

Latest Entries
Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Side Effects
By Jenelle Marie Davis
What treatment options are there? The treatment options available for hepatitis C include different types of pills and, in rare cases, injections. Many treatment plans also include dietary changes, which are not...

List of Signs You Might Have Ascites
By Karen Hoyt
Once the belly swells out and you look like you’re pregnant, you have probably figured out that it’s ascites. I remember the first time my whole tummy felt jiggly. It was just before...

Take the Cost of Healthcare Survey
By Editorial Team
Cost is a major factor in managing a chronic condition such as hepatitis C. There are many things people do to save money and cut costs, however not all patients are aware...

Read other recent headlines

Your Guide To Hepatitis
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.

New Entry
The Italian Story
By Greg Jefferys
Over the next few days I'm going to spend a little time talking about Italy because that is where I think the next big breakthrough on Hep C generics is going to happen.

A look at Epclusa versus sofosbuvir plu daclatasvir

By Greg Jefferys
As most people now know Gilead has launched its pan-genotype combination Epclusa, which is the combination of Sofosbuvir + Velpatasvir. With its usual eye on the market place Gilead launched Epclusa with plenty of promotions and advertising however the reality of Epclusa is that it is just another expensive and overpriced medicine that Gilead will use to squeeze more money out of the global health care system.

Read more blog updates @ HEP.

Hepatitis B

AGA Journals Blog
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.

Latest Entry
Dr. Kristine Novak
What is the Best Way to Predict Disease Progression in Patients With Inactive HBV?
In patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who are negative for HBe antigen (HBeAg), monitoring levels of HB surface antigen (HBsAg) can predict disease progression, researchers report in the October issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Most persons chronically infected with HBV clear HBeAg and enter an inactive carrier phase, characterized by low or undetectable
Read more

Publications Updates

Lets start with HCV Advocate and their October newsletter, here are the highlights;

HCV Drugs by Alan Franciscus – I reviewed two studies: The first study is about the final results of the treatment of Odalasvir plus AL-335 with and without simeprevir to treat HCV genotype 1 treatment naïve patients for 6 or 8 weeks. The second review is the mind-boggling outcomes of a study that used a 2-day response guided protocol to treat people for 3 weeks that produced 100% cure rates.

Snapshots by Alan Franciscus—I reviewed two studies: The first one is a study conducted in the Veterans Affairs National Health Care System that evaluated all of the current (at that time) direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) medications to understand the cure rates and the ‘real-world’ results vs. results from the clinical trials.

HealthWise – How I Nearly Outed Someone’s Hepatitis C Status: A Cautionary Tale by Lucinda K. Porter, RN—Lucinda discusses privacy issues that we are all concerned about in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media/internet and how to combat privacy issues and stigma.

Under the Umbrella—No Man is an Island: Part 2, Hepatitis C in Rural Southern Indiana—Matthew continues his saga about HCV with an emphasis on jails and prisons including what can be done to provide education and support to improve the health outcomes of inmates living with hepatitis C and therefore the entire community of hepatitis C.

Monthly Drug Pipeline has been updated with a link to the article about the Janssen story in this month’s HCV Advocate.

What’s Up!
We have reviewed and updated our entire HBV Treatment Fact Sheet Series!

Don’t forget to check out our HCV Advocate Clinical Trials Reference Guide – we only include clinical trials that are actively recruiting patients and we are constantly adding content. provides information by state on the requirements to register to vote and how to apply to vote.

Read the Weekly Bull
For over a decade HepCBC a Canadian non-profit organization has published an incredible monthly newsletter offering awareness, personal stories and basic information about HCV. Recently the highly successful newsletter has been retired, however without fail a new publication "The Weekly.Bull" will continue to serve us well, here is the latest issue.

The Week in Review: Sep 23 – 30, 2016
Friday, September-30-16

This month the eViralHepatitis Review from Johns Hopkins University devoted a whole issue to Extrahepatic Manifestations of Hepatitis C: Screening and Management, which you can read about and access via our Weekly.Bull. As well lawyers representing some of the more than 500 victims in the pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis-C settlement group filed a submission last week in Vancouver requesting that the courts of Ontario, Québec and British Columbia address a $65 million shortfall in their settlement fund.

Read more…

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable 
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable is a broad coalition working to fight, and ultimately end, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C epidemics. We seek an aggressive response from policymakers, public health officials, medical and health care providers, the media, and the general public through our advocacy, education, and technical assistance.

Recap of NVHR's September Webinars
Hepatitis C Treatment Access: State-Level Advocacy Successes
NVHR's webinar on Friday, September 9, 2016 featured three panelists from New York and Pennsylvania who shared how coalition-building and advocacy led to successful expansion of hepatitis C treatment in their states. Click here to view the slides and webinar recording.

Hepatitis C Screening in Emergency Departments
NVHR's webinar on Monday, September 26, 2016 included four panelists who discussed their work implementing hepatitis C screening initiatives in emergency departments, targeted versus universal screening, and the challenges of program sustainability. Click here to view the slides and webinar recording.

In Case You Missed It

Review in Advance first posted online on September 23, 2016. (Changes may still occur before final publication  online and in print.)
Oral combination therapies for HCV infection: Successes, challenges, and unmet needs
The current standard of care for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) consists of interferon-free direct-acting antiviral(DAA) regimens, including combinations of DAAs and fixed-dose combination pills. DAAs for HCV are likely to be heralded as one of medicine’s greatest advancements. Viral eradication rates are pushing 100% for many HCV infected populations, including patients with HIV/HCV coinfection, decompensated cirrhosis, liver and kidney transplants, and end stage liver disease. We highlight the greatest successes of combination DAA therapies, discuss the ongoing challenges, and identify the remaining patient subgroups with unmet medical needs.

Conference News
In September we had the EASL-AASLD Special Conference in Paris, and in Gold Coast, Australia the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis 2016 Conference took place. In Australia The Kirby Institute’s Hepatitis B and C Annual Surveillance Report Supplement was released, view the report here; "The Supplement was produced to coincide with the 2016 Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference to provide a timely update on the roll out of hepatitis C direct acting antiviral treatments in Australia. With the World Health Organization calling for the elimination of hepatitis B and C by 2030, this report provides vital information on progress and gaps in the Australian response."

At the EASL-AASLD conference new recommendations on the treatment of hepatitis C were released which added Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir) and Zepatier (grazoprevir/elbasvir) to the arsenal of treatments. Download the new HCV EASL recommendations or watch a video of the livestreamed updates with a follow-up Q&A session, here. All conference news with updates can be viewed, here.

Journal Updates
October 2016 - Volume 151, Issue 4
High Efficacy of ABT-493 and ABT-530 Treatment in Patients With HCV Genotype 1 or 3 Infection and Compensated Cirrhosis 
In cirrhotic HCV GT1- or GT3-infected patients, ABT-493 plus ABT-530 with or without RBV achieved SVR12 rates of 96%–100% and was well tolerated.

Hepatitis C Virus RNA Persists in Liver Explants of Most Patients Awaiting Liver Transplantation Treated With an Interferon-Free Regimen 
The main goal of antiviral treatment in patients awaiting a liver transplant is to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) graft infection by eradicating the virus in serum and live.

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Published ahead of print
Implementation of a ‘care bundle’ improves the management of patients admitted to hospital with decompensated cirrhosis
Since 1970, there has been a 400% increase in liver-related deaths due to the increasing prevalence of chronic liver disease in UK. The 2013 UK National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death report found that only 47% of patients who died from alcohol-related liver disease received ‘good care’ during their hospital stay. Dr Stuart McPherson and colleagues from the United Kingdom developed a ‘care bundle’ for patients with decompensated cirrhosis, aiming to ensure that evidence-based treatments are delivered within the first 24 hours of hospital admission.

Journal Of Hepatology
October issue of the Journal of Hepatology
Selection of the month - HCV eradication and the risk of HCC: Issues with direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy? and Treating HCV improves portal hypertension, HCV recurrence after OLT – not a concern anymore!

Journal of Hepatology Supplement​ - New Perspectives in HCV Infection
Topics - Management of the patient with SVR and Second generation direct-acting antivirals – Do we expect major improvements?

HCV Guideline Update
People with HCV Should Be Tested for HBV Before Starting Antiviral Therapies
The updated information can be found in the Monitoring Patients Who Are Starting Hepatitis C Treatment, Are On Treatment, or Have Completed Therapy section of the Guidance.

More from Medscape - If you have a patient with hepatitis C virus (HCV), it is important to screen them for hepatitis B virus (HBV) before you start direct-acting antiviral treatment. Guidelines were recently updated after case reports described reactivation of HBV in patients with both HBV and HCV who were only treated for HCV. The thought is that the reactivation may have to do with an increase in hepatitis B viral replication after the HCV is cleared. It does not seem to be due to toxicity from any specific drug.

To ensure successful therapy for patients with HCV, it is important that the HBV treatment start before or at the same time as treatment for HCV. If your patient does not meet criteria for HBV treatment because their viral load is low or undetectable, they will still need to be followed closely for reactivation, which can be very serious.

In The News
Insider Q&A: A front-row seat for the drug pricing battle
Dr. Steve Miller, the chief medical officer of Express Scripts, sits at the center of the storm over rising drug prices.

Miller has watched super-sized drug prices infuriate patients and strain the health care system with growing frequency, starting when a new hepatitis C drug hit the market at $84,000 for a course of treatment and continuing through the recent revelation that the price of Mylan's EpiPen rose more than 500 percent since 2007.

AbbVie's HCV Regimen glecaprevir (ABT-493)/pibrentasvir (ABT-530) (G/P) Receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation
Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for the investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir (ABT-493)/pibrentasvir (ABT-530) (G/P) for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) who failed previous therapy with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in genotype 1 (GT1), including therapy with an NS5A inhibitor and/or protease inhibitor.​

Autumn is over so quickly, I hope you get out and take advantage of fall before its gone. Stay healthy this flu season.


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