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Hepatitis C Now Leading Infectious Disease Killer in U.S.

Posted 2 days 1 hour ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – The number of hepatitis C-linked deaths in the United States reached a record high in 2014, and the virus now kills more Americans than any other infectious disease, health officials report. There were 19,659 hepatitis C-related deaths in 2014, according to preliminary data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those tragically high numbers aren't necessary, one CDC expert said. "Why are so many Americans dying of this preventable, curable disease? Once hepatitis C testing and treatment are as routine as they are for high cholesterol and colon cancer, we will see people living the long, healthy lives they deserve," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin said in an agency news release. He directs the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. If not diagnosed and treated, people with hepatitis C are at increased risk for liver ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Hepatitis C, Infectious Hepatitis

Generic Hepatitis C Drugs as Effective as Pricey Brand Names: Study

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, April 16, 2016 – Low-cost generic antiviral drugs are as effective and safe as more expensive brand-name drugs in treating people with hepatitis C, researchers report. In many countries, people don't have access to a course of brand-name direct-acting antiviral drugs due to the high cost – as much as $94,000 a patient, the researchers explained. However, mass-produced generic versions are available for less than 1 percent of the retail price of the brand-name drugs, they added. "Our interim data suggests a potential solution for hepatitis C patients in areas where treatment access has been restricted as a result of the high prices demanded for branded treatment," said study author Dr. James Freeman, of GP2U Telehealth in Hobart, Australia. The study of patients in the United States, Canada, Africa, Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia found that generic direct-acting ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Harvoni, Ribavirin, Sovaldi, Liver and Pancreatic Disease, Sofosbuvir, Ribasphere, Copegus, Rebetol, Daklinza, Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, Interferon Alfa-2B/Ribavirin, RibaPak, Rebetron, Virazole, Hepatic Tumor, Daclatasvir, RibaTab, Moderiba

Hepatitis C Therapy May Reduce Need for Liver Transplants

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – Treatment with antiviral drugs may reduce the need for a liver transplant for people with severe liver damage and hepatitis C, a new study suggests. This study included 103 liver transplant candidates in Europe with severe liver damage and hepatitis C. They were treated with direct-acting antiviral drug combinations used to treat and cure people with hepatitis C. Thirty-five percent of the patients improved to the point where they were no longer in urgent need of a liver transplant. And 20 percent got so much better that they no longer needed a transplant, researchers found. Currently, more than 15,000 people in the United States are on the liver transplant waiting list. About 16 percent will die before receiving a new liver. And roughly 30 percent of adults on the liver transplant waiting list have severe liver damage and hepatitis C, the researchers said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C-Infected Liver Transplants May Work Well for Those With the Virus

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – Here's some potentially good news for people with hepatitis C who are waiting for liver transplants: Hepatitis C-infected livers seem to do as well as healthy livers in these patients, a new study indicates. The findings suggest that using hepatitis C-infected (HCV-positive) livers could help reduce wait times for people with hepatitis C who need a transplant, the researchers said. Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver, leading to inflammation, scarring and liver cancer. More than 15,000 people in the United States are on the liver transplant waiting list, and about 16 percent will die before they receive a new liver, according to background notes with the study. In the United States, use of HCV-positive livers for liver transplants in people with hepatitis C has tripled, from less than 3 percent in 1995 to more than 9 percent in 2013. Researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Liver and Pancreatic Disease, Organ Transplant - Rejection Reversal, Rejection Reversal

Head and Neck Cancers May Be Linked to Hepatitis C

Posted 13 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 – Hepatitis C may increase the risk for certain types of head and neck cancers, researchers say. Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by a virus. It's the most common bloodborne infection in the United States, affecting as many as 3.5 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many are unaware they have the infection. "What we are trying to make all understand is that this is an infection that has consequences – and it's an infection we can cure," said study leader Dr. Harrys Torres, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It's already known that people with hepatitis C have a significantly higher risk of liver cancers and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to the researchers. Antiviral drugs cure more than 90 percent of hepatitis C cases, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hepatitis C, Head and Neck Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer

Ridding U.S. of Hepatitis B, C as 'Public Health Problem' Possible: Experts

Posted 11 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 – Experts say there's real hope in someday ridding the United States of the "public health problem" of hepatitis B and C infection. The two viral strains cause serious, often fatal, liver disease for tens of thousands of Americans each year. The comprehensive new report is from a panel of experts at the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. They believe that the advent of a powerful new vaccine and medicines could help drastically lower hepatitis B and C rates across the country. Still, to reach that goal will take time and considerable resources, the report said. "Ending illness and deaths from hepatitis C depends on both stopping the disease's progression in its early stages and reversing the course of advanced disease," the committee said in a news release. According to the report, between 700,000 and 1.4 million Americans have ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis B, Liver Cirrhosis, Exposure to Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatic Tumor

U.S. Cancer Death Rate Continues to Fall

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – Overall rates of cancer and deaths from cancer in the United States continue to decline, a newly released report says. However, an increase in liver cancer deaths is cause for concern, the report authors noted. An increase in hepatitis C infections is likely a major reason for the increase, they said. "The latest data show many cancer prevention programs are working and saving lives," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release from the organizations that issued the report. "But the growing burden of liver cancer is troublesome. We need to do more work promoting hepatitis testing, treatment, and vaccination," Frieden added. The Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer is released each year by the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Hepatitis C, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Cirrhosis, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Hepatitis B, Liver Cirrhosis, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer

FDA Approves Expanded Use of Daklinza (daclatasvir) for Additional Challenging-to-treat Patients with Genotype 1 or Genotype 3 Chronic Hepatitis C

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

PRINCETON, N.J., February 5, 2016 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) announced today that Daklinza (daclatasvir, 60 mg), an NS5A replication complex inhibitor, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in combination with sofosbuvir (with or without ribavirin) in genotypes 1 and 3. The expanded label includes data in three additional challenging-to-treat patient populations: chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients with HIV-1 coinfection, advanced cirrhosis, or post-liver transplant recurrence of HCV. The Daklinza plus sofosbuvir regimen is already available for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 3, and is currently the only 12-week, once-daily all-oral treatment option for these patients. Sustained virologic response (SVR) rates are reduced in genotype 3 patients with cirrhosis receiving Daklinza and sofosbuvir for 12 weeks without ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Daklinza, Daclatasvir

FDA Approves Two Supplemental Indications for Harvoni in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients With Advanced Liver Disease

Posted 18 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 16, 2016-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved additional indications for Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) for use in chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced liver disease. Harvoni in combination with ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks was approved for use in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1- or 4-infected liver transplant recipients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A), and for HCV genotype 1-infected patients with decompensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh B or C), including those who have undergone liver transplantation. Harvoni is now approved for use in a broader range of patient populations, including HCV genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6, HCV/HIV-1 coinfection, HCV genotype 1 and 4 liver transplant recipients, and genotype 1-infected patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Harvoni, Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir

Zepatier Approved for Chronic Hepatitis C

Posted 3 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2016 – Zepatier (a combination of elbasavir and grazoprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus, genotypes 1 and 4. Hepatitis C causes liver inflammation, which can lead to liver failure. Most infected people have no symptoms until the onset of liver damage, which could take several years, the FDA said in a news release. Possible symptoms include a yellowing of the eyes and skin known as jaundice, bleeding or liver cancer. Genotype 1 is among the most common forms of hepatitis C, while genotype 4 is among the rarest, the agency said. Some 3 million Americans are believed infected with a form of the virus. Zepatier, sometimes paired with another antiviral drug, ribavirin, was evaluated in 12-to-16-week clinical studies involving nearly 1,400 people. At the end of the studies, between 94 ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Zepatier, Elbasvir/grazoprevir

FDA Approves Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) for Chronic Hepatitis C Genotypes 1 and 4

Posted 29 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

January 28, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) with or without ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 and 4 infections in adult patients. Hepatitis C is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to diminished liver function or liver failure. Most people infected with HCV have no symptoms of the disease until liver damage becomes apparent, which may take several years. Some people with chronic HCV infection develop cirrhosis over many years, which can lead to complications such as bleeding, jaundice (yellowish eyes or skin), fluid accumulation in the abdomen, infections or liver cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3 million Americans are infected with HCV, of which genotype 1 is the most common and genotype 4 is one of ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Zepatier, Elbasvir/grazoprevir

Hepatitis C Reported at 19 Dialysis Clinics: CDC

Posted 28 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 – Reports of hepatitis C infections among dialysis patients in the United States are rising, largely because of poor infection control practices, health officials say. Between 2014 and 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of about 36 cases of hepatitis C infection at 19 kidney dialysis clinics in eight states. So far, investigators have determined that patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C occurred at nine of those clinics. Lapses in infection control procedures – such as injection safety, cleaning and disinfection, and hand hygiene – were common at these clinics, the CDC reported Wednesday. The exact means of hepatitis C transmission could not be pinpointed, but all of these deficiencies could contribute to transmission of the virus. Hepatitis C, which can cause lifelong liver disease, is spread primarily through ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Renal Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Peritoneal dialysis, Hemodialysis

Hepatitis C May Be Tied to Greater Risk for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 24 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 – Hepatitis C is an infection that affects the liver, but people with the virus may also be at greater risk for Parkinson's disease, a new report shows. "Many factors clearly play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease, including environmental factors," study author Dr. Chia-Hung Kao, of China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This nationwide study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, suggests that hepatitis caused specifically by the hepatitis C virus may increase the risk of developing [Parkinson's] disease," Kao said. However, the association seen in the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. And "more research is needed to investigate this link," Kao added. One expert in Parkinson's disease agreed that it's too soon to draw firm ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism

Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs Denied to Almost Half of Medicaid Patients: Study

Posted 24 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 – Nearly half of Medicaid patients with chronic hepatitis C have been denied cutting-edge medications that would most likely cure their condition, due to tight controls that states have placed on coverage of the pricey drugs, a new study shows. About 46 percent of Medicaid patients in four northeastern states were denied treatment with new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs, which have been shown to cure more than nine out of 10 hepatitis C patients, the researchers reported. These powerful medications include Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir). By comparison, only 10 percent of privately insured patients and 5 percent of Medicare patients were denied treatment, said study author Dr. Vincent Lo Re III, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology in the division of infectious diseases at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, Harvoni, Sovaldi

Screening Inmates for Hepatitis C Benefits General Community: Study

Posted 23 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 – A prison-based hepatitis C screening and treatment program could benefit the broader community, researchers suggest. Besides reducing the spread of hepatitis C after prisoners are released, "universal [hepatitis C] testing and treatment in prisons would reduce outcomes of advanced [hepatitis C] such as liver cancer, end-stage liver disease and death among prisoners," said study senior author Jagpreet Chhatwal, of Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Technology Assessment in Boston. "We now have highly effective treatments for [hepatitis C], so we wanted to know the impact of providing routine testing and treatment to inmates, a group in which the infection is highly prevalent," Chhatwal said in a hospital news release. More than 1 percent of the U.S. population has hepatitis C, but the virus affects more than 17 percent of prisoners, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hepatitis C, Liver Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Liver and Pancreatic Disease, Hepatic Coma, Benign Liver Tumor, Liver Metastasis in Adenocarcinoma, Hepatic Tumor

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Harvoni, ribavirin, Sovaldi, Incivek, Pegasys, Victrelis, PegIntron, sofosbuvir, Copegus, view more... interferon alfa-2b, Ribasphere, telaprevir, Viekira Pak, Daklinza, boceprevir, Rebetol, ledipasvir / sofosbuvir, interferon alfa-2b / ribavirin, Intron A, interferon alfa-2a, Rebetron, Olysio, Zepatier, RibaPak, peginterferon alfa-2b, daclatasvir, peginterferon alfa-2a, ombitasvir / paritaprevir / ritonavir, Roferon-A, simeprevir, Technivie, Moderiba, dasabuvir / ombitasvir / paritaprevir / ritonavir, elbasvir / grazoprevir, Infergen, RibaTab, interferon alfacon-1