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.
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]
Canada funds 22 inventive ideas for improving health in low-resource countries

Canada funds 22 inventive ideas for improving health in low-resource countries

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, today announced $2.4 million in seed funds shared between 22 projects from Canada and nine developing nations, to pursue inventive new ideas for improving health in low-resource countries. [More]
New cancer drug renews debate about costs

New cancer drug renews debate about costs

The drug Opdivo, which went on sale in Japan this week, costs an average of $143,000 per patient, The Wall Street Journal reports. [More]
First Edition: September 4, 2014

First Edition: September 4, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about a new government report that predicts a rebound in national health spending. [More]
Bristol-Myers Squibb launches Daklinza in the UK for treatment of chronic hepatitis C

Bristol-Myers Squibb launches Daklinza in the UK for treatment of chronic hepatitis C

Bristol-Myers Squibb today announced the launch of Daklinza▼ (daclatasvir) in the UK, a new medicine for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C. Daclatasvir, a treatment that works across multiple hepatitis C genotypes, will allow up to 90% of UK patients the option of a potentially curative oral treatment regimen that does not include interferon, a standard of care commonly associated with sustained flu-like side effects. [More]
State highlights: States seek health care autonomy; L.A. nursing home audit; promoting overdose-reversal drug

State highlights: States seek health care autonomy; L.A. nursing home audit; promoting overdose-reversal drug

Kansas, Missouri and seven other states have signed on to a movement that would wrest regulation of most of the nation's health care insurance systems from the federal government. [More]
International consortium to accelerate collaborative multi-site trials of potential Ebola vaccine

International consortium to accelerate collaborative multi-site trials of potential Ebola vaccine

A candidate Ebola vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK, The Gambia and Mali as early as September, as part of an series of safety trials of potential vaccines aimed at preventing the disease that has killed more than 1,400 people in the current outbreak in West Africa. [More]
University of Liverpool researchers identify pathogens that pose greater risk to people in Europe

University of Liverpool researchers identify pathogens that pose greater risk to people in Europe

The pathogens posing the greatest risk to Europe based upon a proxy for impact have been identified by University of Liverpool researchers using a 'big data' approach to scientific research. [More]
State highlights: Minn. vaccine requirements; Sovaldi in Calif. prisons; Ga. Rural ERs

State highlights: Minn. vaccine requirements; Sovaldi in Calif. prisons; Ga. Rural ERs

For the first time in a decade, Minnesota schoolchildren are required to receive additional vaccines this fall. Seventh-graders now must get the meningococcal vaccination and an additional pertussis (whooping cough) booster. [More]
Cilag GmbH International acquires biopharmaceutical company, Covagen AG

Cilag GmbH International acquires biopharmaceutical company, Covagen AG

Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced today that it has acquired Covagen AG, a privately-held, biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics through the FynomAb® technology platform. [More]

Viewpoints: Employers and health benefits; Sen. Pryor's ACA endorsement; waging war on hep C

Most of the political class seems to have decided that ObamaCare is working well enough, the opposition is fading, and the subsidies and regulation are settling in as the latest wing of the entitlement state. [More]
FDA approves ViiV Healthcare's Triumeq tablets for treatment of HIV-1 infection

FDA approves ViiV Healthcare's Triumeq tablets for treatment of HIV-1 infection

ViiV Healthcare announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Triumeq (abacavir 600mg, dolutegravir 50mg and lamivudine 300mg) tablets for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. [More]
Longer looks: Falling teen birth rate; the right to pain relief; limiting access to Sovaldi

Longer looks: Falling teen birth rate; the right to pain relief; limiting access to Sovaldi

An infectious disease doctor at Tulane University, [MarkAlain] Dery treats people living with HIV in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the two largest cities in the southern state of Louisiana, which itself has the fourth-highest rate of HIV in the United States, just behind New York, Florida and Maryland. [More]

State highlights: Audit says $93M in Medi-Cal payments could be fraudulent; Mass. insurers press on Medicaid pay

A selection of health policy stories from the District of Columbia, California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. The audit released Tuesday reviewed billing data from July 2008 to December 2013 for Medi-Cal's Drug Treatment program, which reimburses rehabilitation clinics. [More]
Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

With the number of people with chronic hepatitis C reaching record levels in New York City and the recent availability of more effective treatments, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced the receipt of $1.9 million in federal funding to increase its capacity to treat HCV in primary care settings. [More]