Friday, September 29, 2017

News Recap:

Merck discontinues HCV programs. There were rumours, but now it’s official: Merck has announced that it will discontinue the development of the investigational combination regimens MK-3682B (grazoprevir/ruzasvir/uprifosbuvir) and MK-3682C (ruzasvir/uprifosbuvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In a statement the company said the decision was made based on a review of available Phase 2 efficacy data and in consideration of the evolving marketplace and the growing number of treatment options.

Canada’s nurses applaud billions in savings found in PBO report on pharmacare. Many of you may not be aware that there is a growing movement to nationalize pharmacare in Canada (right now it is “provincialized”). Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) President, Linda Silas, responded to the Parliamentary Budget Office’s (PBO) costing document on the establishment of a national pharmacare program, commissioned by the Commons Health Committee and released today. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the PBO report confirms for Canadians that a national pharmacare program will generate substantial savings.”

Liver cancer symptoms: These are the eight signs of the DEADLY condition. Liver cancer is a serious form of the disease that kills over 5,000 people a year. According to Cancer Research UK, rates have risen by 142 per cent since the 1990s.

Three or more cups of coffee daily halves mortality risk in patients with both HIV and HCV. Patients infected by both HIV and HCV are at specific risk of end-stage liver disease and greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In addition, HIV infection accelerates the progression of chronic hepatitis C to fibrosis and development of cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. In these HIV-HCV co-infected patients, drinking at least three cups of coffee each day halved the risk of all-cause mortality.

People of Mexican descent in US have more liver cancer risk factors than those living in Mexico. Mexican-Americans living in the United States demonstrated more risk factors for liver cancer than their counterparts in Mexico, according to results of a study presented at the 10th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Sept. 25-28.


Calls for Input:

Hepatitis B (HBV) Patients & Caregivers – Your Help Requested re Vemlidy. Do you have HEPATITIS B or are you a CAREGIVER for someone with HBV? This is really important for you! An improved hepatitis B treatment will likely be available to Canadians soon, but first the federal government has requested us to submit a patient group review to them (CADTH) explaining whether hepatitis B patients want this new treatment, and why.

Per-SVR (pronounced “Persevere!”) Study is Recruiting Participants. Have HEP C or recently treated with DAAs? Be part of RESEARCH! The Per-SVR (pronounced “Persevere!”) Study is recruiting participants in a multi-year study to learn more about the experiences of people who have been treated with the new “DAA” hep C treatments.  The information gathered will lead to better policies and services for those living with or at risk of contracting hep C.


On the Front Lines:

HepCBC Info Booth at 55+ Lifestyle “Inspired Senior Living” Show. This was our third year with an info table at this annual event! HepCBC’s hepatitis info booth was strategically situated between the entrance and the BC Transplant Society’s booth. We had many visitors.

HepCBC at CGSNA 2017. We were really fortunate to be invited to the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (CSGNA) Conference, Sept. 21 – 23, 2017 in Victoria BC. We had great feedback and the medical community really appreciated our being there.

Pacific AIDS Network signs HCV Manifesto, signaling its commitment to greater involvement of persons with hepatitis C in its organization. Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) recently became the 15th organization to sign the HCV Manifesto http://hepcbc.ca/hcv-manifesto/.