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.
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]

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]