Friday, September-30-16

HCV Infection Increases Extrahepatic Mortality

This month the eViralHepatitis Review from Johns Hopkins University devoted a whole issue to Extrahepatic Manifestations of Hepatitis C: Screening and Management.

Because HCV is typically considered a primary infection of the liver, its eradication is thought to result in health benefits primarily from improved hepatic outcomes, with most literature supporting reductions in the development of cirrhosis and its complications. The paradigm that HCV is a liver disease and mortality is driven by liver-related complications has guided clinical decision-making, and more recently, reimbursement criteria. However, HCV is actually a multiorgan disease, with evidence of viral replication documented in various human tissues from the bone marrow to the brain, with a variety of direct and indirect extra­hepatic manifestations (EHM). The clinical consequences and long-term health outcomes related to EHM may have important considerations

In this issue, Dr. Jordan J. Feld and Dr. Joel S. Emery from the University of Toronto review the recent literature describing:

  • The direct impact of HCV-associated extrahepatic manifestations on patients
  • The importance of antiviral treatment in patients with extrahepatic manifestations
  • The efficacy and tolerability of direct acting antiviral treatment in the treatment of extrahepatic manifestations.

Source: eViralHepatitis Review, Vol 4, Issue 13: http://eviralhepatitisreview.org/newsletters/2016/volume04_issue13.pdf


Hepatitis-C Tainted Blood Victims Demand Equal Treatment

VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ – Most Canadians thought the tainted blood tragedy had been fully addressed. But there are hundreds of tainted blood victims still waiting for the compensation that was promised to them by the Government of Canada.

Lawyers representing some of the more than 500 victims in the pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis-C settlement group filed a submission last week in Vancouver requesting that the courts of Ontario, Québec and British Columbia address a $65 million shortfall in their settlement fund.

“This is an issue of equity,” said David Klein, managing partner of Klein Lawyers LLP, representing pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis C victims. “We have one group of victims whose claims were just topped up a month ago, when a $250 million surplus in their fund was distributed to victims. And we have another group of victims who submitted their claims on time, have been approved, and are still awaiting compensation.”

More than 10 years ago, Justice Vital Ouellette of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruled “The unequal treatment of the window [86-90] and non-window [Pre/Post] claimants based solely on date of infection is a denial of equal benefits under the law.”

While the pre-1986/post-1990 settlement fund was set up on the basis of parity with the 1986-1990 settlement fund, the status of the two groups of victims continues to drift apart. One has a surplus in the hundreds of millions of dollars while the other has claims being denied because it is in a deficit.

“The courts need to do everything in their power to address the growing inequity between the groups, and the provincial and federal governments need to step up to finally put this issue to rest,” said Mike McCarthy, lead plaintiff for the pre-1986/post-1990 class action and former vice-president of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.

The documents filed last week request that the courts conduct a financial audit to determine the precise deficit that remains, and in the meantime, that ways be found to pay out some of the approved claims.

An online petition sponsored by Fred Girling, the widower of a Hepatitis-C tainted blood victim, continues to draw steam, with nearly 500 supporters from across the country.

“Victims are being re-victimized,” said Fred Girling, a resident of Vancouver, on his petition “Beyond the emotional, psychological and physical toll of coping with Hepatitis C, having to fight for compensation that was approved years ago is undeserved.”

To access the legal submission, visit: http://www.callkleinlawyers.com/class-actions/settled/hepatitis-c-tainted-blood/court-documents/

For the petition by widower Fred Girling addressed to Prime Minister Trudeau, the Attorney General of Canada, and the Minister of Health Canada, visit: https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-final-justice-for-canada-s-tainted-blood-scandal-victims