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

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]
Polly Toynbee to lead debate on public health at Sheffield Hallam University

Polly Toynbee to lead debate on public health at Sheffield Hallam University

Renowned journalist and Guardian columnist, Polly Toynbee will lead a debate on the power of research on public health outcomes at Sheffield Hallam University on Friday. [More]
Research roundup: Improving colon cancer screening; disparities in heart care; Medicaid expansion's effect on cities

Research roundup: Improving colon cancer screening; disparities in heart care; Medicaid expansion's effect on cities

This report estimated the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on 14 large and diverse cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Detroit, Memphis, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, and Miami. [More]
HIV infection emerges among PWID in the Middle East and North Africa

HIV infection emerges among PWID in the Middle East and North Africa

HIV epidemics are emerging among people who inject drugs in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Though HIV infection levels were historically very low in the Middle East and North Africa, substantial levels of HIV transmission and emerging HIV epidemics have been documented among people who inject drugs in at least one-third of the countries of this region, according to findings published today in PLOS Medicine. [More]
Generic drug delays cost U.S. payers millions

Generic drug delays cost U.S. payers millions

Problems surrounding an Indian company's launch of generic versions of three blockbuster drugs have preserved millions in revenue for the brand-name makers, reports The Wall Street Journal. [More]
First Edition: June 18, 2014

First Edition: June 18, 2014

Today's headlines include a report that the cost of health law subsidies may push the measure's overall price tag beyond projections. [More]

States, insurance plans wrestle over decisions to offer costly hepatitis C drug

The medication, named Sovaldi, has shown great promise in fighting the deadly disease, but it is very expensive: The treatment regimen runs about $84,000 per patient. [More]
Poll: Fixing vets' health care high priority

Poll: Fixing vets' health care high priority

Elsewhere, a senator defends his vote against legislation to try to improve the VA's health care, and The Associated Press looks at doctor's appointment wait times for all Americans. [More]
First Edition: June 13, 2014

First Edition: June 13, 2014

Today's headlines include various updates on what Virginia lawmakers did in an attempt to resolve the state's budget impasse and Medicaid expansion debate. [More]

Co-ops struggle to enroll people

Elsewhere, Oregon officials are planning on limiting access to a new, pricey hepatitis C drug to state health plan members. Also, UnitedHealthcare is considering entering Georgia's health care exchange next year. [More]
State highlights: Mass. near 0 percent uninsured; Ga. scraps Medicaid contract bidding; states turn to public health issues

State highlights: Mass. near 0 percent uninsured; Ga. scraps Medicaid contract bidding; states turn to public health issues

When Massachusetts passed its landmark health coverage law under Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006, no one claimed the state would get to zero, as in 0 percent of residents who are uninsured. But numbers out today suggest Massachusetts is very close. Between December 2013 and March of this year, when the federal government was urging people to enroll, the number of Massachusetts residents signed up for health coverage increased by more than 215,000. If that number holds, the percentage of Massachusetts residents who do not have coverage has dropped to less than 1 percent (Bebinger, 6/9). [More]
Merck enters into definitive agreement with Idenix

Merck enters into definitive agreement with Idenix

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Idenix for $24.50 per share in cash. [More]
Viewpoints: Tea party missing the lesson; health care not an ordinary market; Va.'s Medicaid battle

Viewpoints: Tea party missing the lesson; health care not an ordinary market; Va.'s Medicaid battle

But the Tea Party does have something to show for its five years of annoyance: Ted Cruz, senator from Texas. Cruz is probably best known for reading "Green Eggs and Ham" on the floor of the Senate during a 21-hour talkathon designed to ensure his place as the most hated man in that august chamber. [More]
State highlights: NYC soda fight back in court; doc training slots in N.Y.; Texas inmate dialysis costs

State highlights: NYC soda fight back in court; doc training slots in N.Y.; Texas inmate dialysis costs

New York City's battle over sugary drinks is entering its endgame. But much more than soda is at stake. A plan to limit the sale of large, high-calorie beverages, championed by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as a novel way to fight obesity, went before the State Court of Appeals here on Wednesday, the city's final recourse after a lower court judge struck down the proposal last year (Grynbaum, 6/4). [More]
Medicare to pay for hep C screenings for baby boomers

Medicare to pay for hep C screenings for baby boomers

The decision comes amid controversy surrounding the costs of new drugs to treat the blood-borne virus. Meanwhile, two studies find that Medicare could save billions if doctors switched from an expensive eye medication to a similar, much cheaper one and, also, if Part D plans were selected based on the actual drugs patients take. [More]
Nektar reports etirinotecan pegol Phase 2 study results in patients with Avastin-refractory high-grade glioma

Nektar reports etirinotecan pegol Phase 2 study results in patients with Avastin-refractory high-grade glioma

Nektar Therapeutics announced today new data from an investigator-sponsored Phase 2 study of NKTR-102 (etirinotecan pegol) in patients with Avastin-refractory high-grade glioma conducted at Stanford Cancer Institute under the direction of Lawrence Recht, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, with co-investigator Seema Nagpal, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine. [More]
HCV reactivation may not worsen survival outcomes for lymphoma patients with HIV

HCV reactivation may not worsen survival outcomes for lymphoma patients with HIV

More than a quarter of HIV+ patients are also infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which may complicate treatment and care decisions after a cancer diagnosis. The specifics of those complications haven't been well-researched in the past. Results from a new Fox Chase Cancer Center study on this patient population may start filling in that gap. [More]
Viewpoints: VA's problems begin with Congress; costly hepatitis drug may be a good buy

Viewpoints: VA's problems begin with Congress; costly hepatitis drug may be a good buy

Politically, this critique of the VA is a no-brainer. After all, denying, delaying or incompetently delivering benefits to veterans who are entitled to them and have sacrificed so much for us is grotesque: the moral equivalent of kicking dogs and stealing food from children. [More]