The Week in Review: September 29 – October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017 News Recap: Liver Cancer Two studies on liver cancer in the news last week highlighted the global prevalence and causes of this terrible disease.  The first showed a direct correlation between excess weight and cancer occurrence (including liver cancer) – Cancers linked to excess weight make up 40% of all US diagnoses, study finds, while the second focussed on the global incidence of primary liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus wa...

U.S.: Hepatitis C Drug’s Lower Cost Paves Way For Medicaid, Prisons To Expand Treatment

Valerie Green is still waiting to be cured. The Delaware resident was diagnosed with hepatitis C more than two years ago, but she doesn’t qualify yet for the Medicaid program’s criteria for treatment with a new class of highly effective but pricey drugs. The recent approval of a less expensive drug that generally cures hepatitis C in just eight weeks may make it easier for more insurers and correctional facilities to expand treatment. The drug, Mavyret, i

First U.S. state-by-state analysis of hepatitis C cases

In the infectious disease world, the liver-damaging hepatitis C virus (HCV) long has lived in the shadows of killers such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. But curative—and expensive—HCV drugs that have come to market over the past 5 years have focused new attention on the deadly disease. Now, for the first time, researchers have mapped its U.S. prevalence state-by-state. They hope their model ultimately will help improve targeting of efforts to s...

U.S.: Kids With Hepatitis C Get New Drugs And Coverage May Prove Easier Than For Adults

With the approval this month of two drugs to treat hepatitis C in children, these often overlooked victims of the opioid epidemic have a better chance at a cure. Kids may have an easier time than adults getting treatment approved, some experts say. Medicaid programs and private insurers have often balked at paying for the pricey drugs for adults, but stricter Medicaid guidelines for kids may make coverage more routine. The two drugs approved for pediat

US: Half of HCV patients with advanced liver disease receive treatment

Researchers estimated that more than 800,000 people in the United States with chronic hepatitis C virus infection may have advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis and need care. However, laboratory testing data indicated that only half of these patients were evaluated for antiviral treatment. “Persons with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis are at highest risk of HCV-related complications and urgently require care,” R. Monina Klevens, DDS, MPH, of CDC’s Division of V

U.S.: Prisoners With Hep C Get Cured In Some States But Not Others

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has guidelines for treating prisoners that include providing the new drugs. But the vast majority of U.S. prisoners are held in state facilities; about 1.4 million people are in state prisons, compared with about 191,000 in federal prisons. In their study, researchers from Yale and the Association of State Correctional Administrators sent two surveys to every state prison system. The first looked at care across states — who w

U.S.: VA estimates 107,000 vets have undiagnosed or untreated hepatitis C

WASHINGTON — With more than $2 billion appropriated for new hepatitis C drugs during the past two years, the Department of Veterans Affairs treated 65,000 veterans for the virus, but about 87,000 remain untreated and an additional 20,000 are undiagnosed. VA officials are seeking $1.5 billion in the 2017 fiscal year to treat more veterans, a group in which hepatitis C is especially prevalent. Funding for the latest drugs, which have a high cure rate, is n

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

CDC notes that nearly 20,000 Americans died in 2014 from the widespread, but treatable, illness WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- 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

Hepatitis B and C could be eliminated as public health problems in US

It is possible to end the transmission of hepatitis B and C and prevent further sickness and deaths from the diseases, but time, considerable resources, and attention to various barriers will be required, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, controlling the diseases by reducing the number of new and overall cases in the U.S. is more feasible in the short term. This is the first report of a two-phase

U.S.: Lawmaker: Costly hepatitis C drug “a slap in the face to the veterans”

A Congressional hearing will begin Wednesday in response to a CBS News investigation that showed how a costly new cure for hepatitis C isn't making it to most of the 200,000 U.S. veterans infected with the disease, many as a result of their service. Congress has given $2.7 billion taxpayer to treat veterans with hepatitis C, but only 15 percent have been treated with the drug, one that might not exist without government funding.The drug at the center of We