Hepatitis C News and Research RSS Feed - Hepatitis C News and Research

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the liver, where it causes significant inflammation, damage and disruption of normal liver function. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 3 to 4 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C every year.

The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual and, most commonly, people catch it through sharing contaminated needles when injecting illegal drugs.

Hepatitis C infection is categorized into an acute and a chronic stage. The acute phase describes the first 6 months of infection when there are not necessarily any symptoms. Around one quarter of people manage to clear the infection during this stage before disease progresses to the chronic stage.

People who go on to develop chronic hepatitis C may develop jaundice which turns the skin and whites of the eyes yellow. This is caused by the build-up of a yellow-colored substance in the blood called bilirubin that would usually be broken down by the liver if it was healthy. Chronic infection may eventually cause fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver failure.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medications that that are designed to disrupt the multiplication of virus particles inside the body and prevent liver damage.
Few California inmates with hepatitis C get costly Sovaldi

Few California inmates with hepatitis C get costly Sovaldi

In San Francisco's jails, no inmates with hepatitis C are receiving Sovaldi, the breakthrough pill that can cure most patients in an unprecedented amount of time. [More]
State highlights: Supreme Court to hear N.C. scope-of-practice case; states weigh costs of new hepatitis C drugs

State highlights: Supreme Court to hear N.C. scope-of-practice case; states weigh costs of new hepatitis C drugs

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider who can whiten teeth in North Carolina, a seemingly small decision that could have major implications for scope-of-practice throughout the country. In North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the justices will weigh whether the state dental board's decisions -; in this case, a decision to not allow anyone but a dentist to whiten teeth -; are immune from antitrust protections typically granted to state agencies (Haberkorn, 10/13). [More]
Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 5.1% to $18.5 billion in Q3 2014

Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 5.1% to $18.5 billion in Q3 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $18.5 billion for the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 5.1% as compared to the third quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 5.8% and the negative impact of currency was 0.7%. Domestic sales increased 11.6%. International sales decreased 0.3%, reflecting operational growth of 1.0% and a negative currency impact of 1.3%. [More]
FDA approves new hepatitis C drug, Harvoni

FDA approves new hepatitis C drug, Harvoni

Insurers and patients are decrying the cost for the new drug, nearly $95,000 for a 12-week course of treatment, which is more expensive than Gilead's other hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi. But unlike some hepatitis C treatments, Harvoni can be taken without injections usually given to hepatitis C patients. [More]
State highlights: States and drug prices; Ariz. limiting Sovaldi for patients; L.A. boosts uninsured care by $61 million

State highlights: States and drug prices; Ariz. limiting Sovaldi for patients; L.A. boosts uninsured care by $61 million

Because of its high cost, some state Medicaid programs and prison systems are refusing to provide Sovaldi to any but the sickest patients. Most recently, Oregon last month threatened to limit access to the drug unless it can get Sovaldi at a deeply discounted price. But Sovaldi is only the beginning. Expensive new treatments for certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions also have rattled Medicaid officials, patients and health care providers. What can states do to hold down drug costs? Drug pricing is a complicated and opaque process. [More]
Viewpoints: 'Feud' over health care compact; humane end-of-life care

Viewpoints: 'Feud' over health care compact; humane end-of-life care

Never has an issue of The Best Times, Johnson County's monthly magazine for seniors, been so eagerly awaited. I know I've been on the edge of my seat. At first the draw was to read the article that had gotten some Kansas legislators so worked up that 11 of them stormed en masse into a meeting to berate the volunteer members of the Johnson County Commission on Aging for writing it. [More]
Research findings provide clues for design of future HIV vaccine

Research findings provide clues for design of future HIV vaccine

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have described how a single family of antibodies that broadly neutralizes different strains of HIV has evolved remarkably diverse structures to attack a vulnerable site on the virus. [More]
Triple-punch of antibodies prevents, wipes out hepatitis C infection in laboratory mice

Triple-punch of antibodies prevents, wipes out hepatitis C infection in laboratory mice

A triple-punch of antibodies both prevented hepatitis C infection and wiped out the disease after it had established itself in laboratory mice, according to a study led by Princeton University researchers. [More]
Many fear lack of confidentiality and disclosure regarding genetic test's purpose

Many fear lack of confidentiality and disclosure regarding genetic test's purpose

Genomic medicine is rapidly developing, bringing with its advances promises of individualized genetic information to tailor and optimize prevention and treatment interventions. Genetic tests are already guiding treatments of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis c virus (HPC), and emerging research is showing genetic variants may be used to screen for an individual's susceptibility to addiction to a substance, and even inform treatments for addiction. [More]
Daktari receives NIH SBIR grant to develop point-of-care sickle cell diagnostic test

Daktari receives NIH SBIR grant to develop point-of-care sickle cell diagnostic test

Daktari Diagnostics, in collaboration with Harvard University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of Zambia in Lusaka, is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant by the National Institute of Health for a point-of-care sickle cell diagnostic test. [More]
Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

In anticipation of next year's premium announcements and given some information already made public, concerns have surfaced about the potential for double-digit percent increases in nongroup and small-group health insurance premiums. This analysis shows that, although average annual increases in small-group premiums over the past 13 years averaged roughly 5.5 percent, double-digit average premium increases are common for states and large metropolitan areas. [More]
SLU pediatric researcher to study efficacy of new hepatitis C drug treatment in children

SLU pediatric researcher to study efficacy of new hepatitis C drug treatment in children

After the success of a new drug treatment in adults with hepatitis C infection, a Saint Louis University pediatric researcher is testing the safety and efficacy of the medications in children. [More]
Demand for $84,000 hepatitis C drug slows

Demand for $84,000 hepatitis C drug slows

Health care providers may be waiting for other, soon-to-be-released drugs to treat hepatitis C. Also, an Indian pharmaceutical company faces Justice Department questions on pricing data for Medicaid. [More]
Two young Egyptian scientists at TUM win ISS project

Two young Egyptian scientists at TUM win ISS project

Two researchers at Technische Universit-t M-nchen have won the 'International Space Station Research Competition' with their project 'Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus.' As their prize, the scientists will see the International Space Station crew perform experiments on the space station. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

New York State's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit on Monday seeking to stop a pharmaceutical company from forcing patients with Alzheimer's disease to switch to a new version of a widely used drug. The lawsuit contends that the switch is designed to blunt competition from low-priced generic versions of the medication (Pollack, 9/15). [More]
MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

Nektar Therapeutics reported today that partner AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MOVANTIK (naloxegol) tablets as the first once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC), in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. [More]
Gilead to boost price of new hepatitis c drug

Gilead to boost price of new hepatitis c drug

Gilead Sciences says its next generation drug to combat hepatitis C, slated to launch next month, will be more expensive than $1,000-a-pill Sovaldi, in part because the new treatment will be shorter and simpler. Gilead also struck a deal with Indian generic drugmakers to sell lower-cost versions of Sovaldi in poor countries. [More]
SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

Saint Louis University researchers are attacking influenza on multiple fronts as they search for a universal vaccine that protects people from the flu virus that often mutates year to year with deadly consequences. [More]
Researchers examine whether new drug offers added benefit for patients with chronic HCV

Researchers examine whether new drug offers added benefit for patients with chronic HCV

The drug simeprevir has been available since May 2014 for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. [More]
State highlights: Texas lawmaker proposes '3 strikes' for nursing homes

State highlights: Texas lawmaker proposes '3 strikes' for nursing homes

New Yorker Deadra Malloy was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, but she remained healthy for so long she wasn't completely convinced she was positive. [More]