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: 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]

Physician disclosure website back on track

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announces it has fixed the glitch that took down the website where doctors and hospitals can review information about payments from drug and device makers. Meanwhile, The New York Times looks at how costly compounded medicines are drawing the ire of health insurers, and a U.K. agency recommends the government pay for a costly new hepatitis treatment. [More]
First Edition: August 15, 2014

First Edition: August 15, 2014

Today's headlines include a variety of updates regarding health policy and the health care marketplace. [More]
Medical advisory panel recommends new pneumonia vaccine for seniors

Medical advisory panel recommends new pneumonia vaccine for seniors

The experts expressed concern, however, that Medicare rules may hamper some people from getting the new vaccine if they have already had an older version. Also in drug issues, some patient advocates report that insurers are balking at paying for a costly drug to treat hepatitis C if the patients are in drug treatment programs. [More]
First Edition: August 14, 2014

First Edition: August 14, 2014

Today's headlines include a report about an uptick in VA referrals to private physicians. Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: "Some hospitals in New York, Florida and Wisconsin are exploring ways to help individuals and families pay their share of the costs of government-subsidized policies purchased though the health law's marketplaces – at least partly to guarantee the hospitals get paid when the consumers seek care. [More]
Ebola virus defeats attempts by interferon to block viral reproduction in infected cells

Ebola virus defeats attempts by interferon to block viral reproduction in infected cells

One of the human body's first responses to a viral infection is to make and release signaling proteins called interferons, which amplify the immune system response to viruses. [More]
Inovio Pharmaceuticals reports increased revenue in second quarter 2014

Inovio Pharmaceuticals reports increased revenue in second quarter 2014

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. Total revenue was $3.8 million and $6.2 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, compared to $786,000 and $2.2 million for the same periods in 2013. [More]
Viewpoints: Why Emory accepted American Ebola cases; calls for terrified Americans to 'chill out'

Viewpoints: Why Emory accepted American Ebola cases; calls for terrified Americans to 'chill out'

Blame it on Richard Preston. "The Hot Zone," his 1994 nonfiction science thriller about the spread and devastation of the Ebola virus, pretty much set the standard for terrifying contagion scenarios. ... [More]
Oncolytics Biotech announces financial results and operational highlights for second quarter 2014

Oncolytics Biotech announces financial results and operational highlights for second quarter 2014

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. today announced its financial results and operational highlights for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014. [More]
American Journal of Public Health special issue to highlight health disparities among Veterans Affairs

American Journal of Public Health special issue to highlight health disparities among Veterans Affairs

In an online-only, open access special issue of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers investigate issues of health equity, quality and disparities within the Veterans Affairs health care system. [More]
Costly specialty drugs drive up Medicare tab

Costly specialty drugs drive up Medicare tab

ProPublica and The New York Times look at the explosive spending growth from an obscure medication for treating multiple sclerosis and a rare kidney disease -- and how several top prescribers have links to drugmaker, Questcor Pharmaceuticals. [More]
First Edition: August 5, 2014

First Edition: August 5, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of a partnership between two of California's largest insurers in which they will join forces to create a database of patient medical records. [More]
Computer simulation forecasts favorable trends in eradicating hepatitis C

Computer simulation forecasts favorable trends in eradicating hepatitis C

Effective new drugs and screening would make hepatitis C a rare disease by 2036, according to a computer simulation conducted by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. [More]
Hepatitis C could become a rare disease by 2036

Hepatitis C could become a rare disease by 2036

Effective new drugs and screening would make hepatitis C a rare disease by 2036, according to a computer simulation conducted by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The results of the simulation are reported in the August 5 edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. [More]
New technique for studying lifecycle of hepatitis B virus can help develop cure for disease

New technique for studying lifecycle of hepatitis B virus can help develop cure for disease

A new technique for studying the lifecycle of the hepatitis B virus could help researchers develop a cure for the disease. [More]
Viewpoints: Ignagni on prices of new drugs; Sen. Johnson on the difficulty of suing a president

Viewpoints: Ignagni on prices of new drugs; Sen. Johnson on the difficulty of suing a president

Lately, there has been considerable debate about the soaring prices of specialty drugs, which are aimed at difficult-to-treat diseases. [More]

Medicaid roundup: Florida receives 3-year renewal for managed care program; Illinois limits Sovaldi

About 3 million Floridians are enrolled in the privatized program. Meanwhile, Illinois Medicaid puts limits on who is eligible for Sovaldi, an expensive hepatitis C drug, and Kansas recoups more than $28 million in Medicaid fraud. [More]
First Edition: August 4, 2014

First Edition: August 4, 2014

Today's headlines include a variety of health policy stories reflecting developments on the state level. [More]
State highlights: Time of turmoil for Georgia hospitals; Oregon Medicaid takes aim at expensive heptatitis C drug

State highlights: Time of turmoil for Georgia hospitals; Oregon Medicaid takes aim at expensive heptatitis C drug

A selection of health policy stories from Gerogia, Wisconsin, Texas, Oregon, Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Connecticut and North Carolina. [More]