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.
Cost of Sovaldi and other specialty drugs worries states, pharmaceutical executives

Cost of Sovaldi and other specialty drugs worries states, pharmaceutical executives

News outlets continue to examine how Solvadi - usually an expensive cure for hepatitis-C - might affect budgets. [More]
First Edition: July, 21, 2014

First Edition: July, 21, 2014

Today's headlines include a story about an effort by regulators to widen insurer networks, as well as a range of other health policy developments. [More]
State highlights: Concerns continue about Coakley-partners antitrust settlement; Maine's Lepage announces extra $13.1 million for nursing homes

State highlights: Concerns continue about Coakley-partners antitrust settlement; Maine's Lepage announces extra $13.1 million for nursing homes

Criticism of Attorney General Martha Coakley's antitrust pact with the state's largest health care system mounted Thursday as a watchdog panel warned a judge the proposed deal might not meet its goal of holding down medical expenses. [More]
Combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in co-infected HIV patients

Combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in co-infected HIV patients

A multicenter team of researchers report that in a phase III clinical trial, a combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in the majority of patients co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C. [More]
UT Southwestern researcher named recipient of ASBMB Merck Award for research on molecular biology

UT Southwestern researcher named recipient of ASBMB Merck Award for research on molecular biology

Dr. Zhijian "James" Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named the 2015 recipient of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Merck Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology. [More]
First Edition: July 18, 2014

First Edition: July 18, 2014

Today's headlines include reports from the marketplace, including UnitedHealthcare's move toward the health law's insurance marketplaces and the latest on the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into insider trading related to a health policy change. [More]
Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

There's not much that Republicans like about the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but one thing they particularly dislike is the requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide comprehensive health insurance. [More]
More insurers want you to see a doctor virtually

More insurers want you to see a doctor virtually

Insurers like WellPoint and Aetna are offering patients the option of e-visits with doctors as a way to cut costs, but some see problems with that, reports Bloomberg. Other media outlets explore the controversy over Sovaldi, an expensive new drug for hepatitis C. [More]
First Edition: July 16, 2014

First Edition: July 16, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate on federal health care spending. [More]

States grapple with mental illness issues; Oregon moves closer to limiting Medicaid patients' access to new hepatitis C drugs

The numbers, posted daily on the Cook County sheriff's website, would be alarming at an urgent care clinic, let alone a jail: On a Wednesday, 36 percent of all new arrivals report having a mental illness. On a Friday, it's 54 percent. But inside the razor wire framing the 96-acre compound, the faces and voices of the newly arrested confirm its accidental role as Chicago's treatment center of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses (Geller, 7/14). [More]
Johnson & Johnson sales increase 9.1% to $19.5 billion in second quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson sales increase 9.1% to $19.5 billion in second quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $19.5 billion for the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 9.1% as compared to the second quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 9.4% and the negative impact of currency was 0.3%. [More]

Senate Finance Committee probing prices for hepatitis C drug

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, send letter to the drug's maker requesting information about how it set the price, which runs about $84,000 for a standard three-month regimen. [More]
First Edition: July 14, 2014

First Edition: July 14, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of Medicare, the health law and veterans' care policy issues as well as reports from the campaign trail. [More]
Research roundup: 20M gain insurance, coverage's effect on surgery choices; opioid use by service members

Research roundup: 20M gain insurance, coverage's effect on surgery choices; opioid use by service members

This report aims to help readers understand recently announced enrollment numbers, as well as other numbers that have received less attention, and assess their importance for the future of the ACA and our health care system. . [More]
New meta-analysis highlights significant gaps in hepatitis C care

New meta-analysis highlights significant gaps in hepatitis C care

A new meta-analysis published online in PLOS ONE by infectious disease and epidemiology specialists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania highlights significant gaps in hepatitis C care that will prove useful as the U.S. health care system continues to see an influx of patients with the disease because of improved screening efforts and new, promising drugs. [More]

Inaccurate doctor lists hurt access for low-income Californians

Meanwhile, confusion over limited providers also has led to unforeseen bills for enrollees in private plans in California, reports The Los Angeles Times. Other stories look at the growing number of insurers who want to participate in the online marketplaces and how 19 states have passed laws restricting the workers who help consumers sign up, despite a new federal rule eliminating many such restrictions. [More]
Janssen seeks expanded approval of VELCADE from EU for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Janssen seeks expanded approval of VELCADE from EU for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Janssen-Cilag International NV today announced its submission of a type II variation to the European Medicines Agency to expand the label for VELCADE (bortezomib) to include its use, in combination with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone, for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). [More]

EMA CHMP adopts positive opinion for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza for HCV treatment

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion recommending that Daklinza (daclatasvir), an investigational, potent pan-genotypic NS5A complex inhibitor (in vitro), be granted approval for use in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults. [More]

How will hepatitis C drug affect health care spending?

Elsewhere, pharmaceutical companies are upset over new rules for a drug discount program -- known as 340B. [More]
First Edition: June 24, 2014

First Edition: June 24, 2014

Today's headlines include news about the latest report detailing problems at the VA. [More]