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.

UnitedHealth cites health law, costly hepatitis drug in reporting lower earnings

The health law's effect was mixed, officials said, because the company did not participate in many of the online marketplaces, but it did see more customers for its Medicaid plans. Officials are considering a bigger role in the marketplaces next year. [More]

Skin docs prescribe costlier drugs after free samples

In other news, panels recommend a costly hepatitis C drug for the sickest patients, and cancer doctors will compare the value of costly cancer drugs. [More]
Deaths from viral Hepatitis B and C exceed deaths caused by HIV/AIDS

Deaths from viral Hepatitis B and C exceed deaths caused by HIV/AIDS

Deaths from viral Hepatitis B and C have surpassed HIV/AIDS in many countries, including Australia and in Western Europe, according to an analysis of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study. [More]
First Edition: April 17, 2014

First Edition: April 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about emerging political strategies related to the health law and the upcoming congressional elections. [More]

Entries now open for 2014 Quality in Care Hepatitis C programme

The first Quality in Care (QiC) Hepatitis C programme is now open for entry to teams and individuals working within the field of hepatitis C. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]
Researchers identify mechanism that explains reason for persistence of hepatitis C virus

Researchers identify mechanism that explains reason for persistence of hepatitis C virus

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease and why the virus is able to persist in the body for so long. [More]

Optimal use of combination therapy achieves best treatment outcomes in patients with CHB

Three new studies presented today at the International Liver CongressTM 2014 have helped clarify the optimal use of combination therapy with peginterferon and nucleoside analogues (NUCs) to achieve the best treatment outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). [More]

U.S. health care spending, usage rise

Americans' spending on medicines in 2013 rose 3.2 percent to nearly $330 billion, fueling speculation that a dip in overall health care spending may be over. [More]
Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 3.5% to $18.1 billion in first quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 3.5% to $18.1 billion in first quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $18.1 billion for the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 3.5% as compared to the first quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 5.3% and the negative impact of currency was 1.8%. Domestic sales increased 2.2%. International sales increased 4.5%, reflecting operational growth of 7.9% and a negative currency impact of 3.4%. [More]

First Edition: April 15, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate of the costs for expanding health insurance. [More]

Researchers identify new Chinese herbal medicine that inhibits hepatitis C virus activity

Data from a late-breaking abstract presented at the International Liver CongressTM 2014 identifies a new compound, SBEL1, that has the ability to inhibit hepatitis C virus (HCV) activity in cells at several points in the virus' lifecycle. [More]
New drug combination proves effective in treating patients with HCV genotype 1

New drug combination proves effective in treating patients with HCV genotype 1

Treatment options for the 170 million people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are evolving rapidly, although the available regimens often come with significant side effects. Two multi-center clinical trials led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center show promise for a new option that could help lead to both an increase in patients cured with a much more simple and tolerable all oral therapy. [More]

High cost of potent hepatitis drug presents challenges across the U.S.

Sovaldi, the hepatitis C treatment drug, is considered a breakthrough for patients with the disease. However, since, it won federal approval in December, lawmakers, insurers and patient advocates have begun an all-out revolt over it's high price point of $1,000 a daily pill or $84,000 over 12 weeks of treatment. [More]

Oral therapy cures hepatitis C infection in more than 90% of patients with liver cirrhosis

Twelve weeks of an investigational oral therapy cured hepatitis C infection in more than 90 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis and was well tolerated by these patients, according to an international study that included researchers from UT Medicine San Antonio and the Texas Liver Institute. [More]

New paper calls for increase in geographically targeted prevention, treatment for HIV-infected people

In U.S. cities, it's not just what you do, but also your address that can determine whether you will get HIV and whether you will survive. A new paper in the American Journal of Public Health illustrates the effects of that geographic disparity - which tracks closely with race and poverty - and calls for an increase in geographically targeted prevention and treatment efforts. [More]

New research provides new hope for liver transplant patients with recurring hepatitis C

New research announced at the International Liver CongressTM 2014 today provides new hope for the notoriously difficult-to-treat population of liver transplant patients with recurring hepatitis C (HCV). [More]
EU-funded project aims to find solution to combat hepatitis C epidemic in Egypt

EU-funded project aims to find solution to combat hepatitis C epidemic in Egypt

New ways to differentiate between chronic and self-clearing infections may help towards effective patient management and reduce drug costs. But there are major challenges in implementation. [More]
Viral hepatitis linked to more deaths than HIV across EU countries

Viral hepatitis linked to more deaths than HIV across EU countries

Mortality from viral hepatitis is significantly higher than from HIV/AIDS across EU countries, according to results from The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) which was announced for the first time today at the International Liver CongressTM 2014. [More]
Clinical Research Forum announces winners of third annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards

Clinical Research Forum announces winners of third annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards

The Clinical Research Forum has announced the winners of its third annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards. The winning projects represent the outstanding examples of research projects that benefit the health and well-being of the general public. [More]