Friday, September 22, 2017

News Recap:

Access to Treatment:
This was a good week in terms of treatment access (but not, unfortunately, in terms of weather or seismic activity: How very, very sad).  Imagine being sick or on treatment in one of these stricken areas!

In Canada Epclusa was approved for use in persons co-infected with HIV. This is very good news. Gilead Receives Approval in Canada for Expanded Indication of EPCLUSA® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in Patients Co-Infected with HIV.

In Malaysia, the government has approved a government-use compulsory license which would allow the import of generic versions of Gilead’s patented hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi. The decision was made in August but has become public this week. The low-cost versions will now be available in Malaysian public hospitals and will benefit around 4,00,000 people.  Malaysia Allows Generics for Gilead’s Hepatitis C Drug for Which India Issued Patent.

And in Switzerland, all patients suffering from hepatitis C can be treated with the drugs Harvoni and Epclusa from next month, after the Federal Office of Public Health lifted restrictions allowing the medicines to be reimbursed by mandatory health insurance. The two drugs will be available to all patients irrespective of the level and stage of infection. Restrictions Lifted: All Swiss hepatitis C sufferers can access costly drugs like Harvoni.

Other News:
A new report on the financial burden of liver disease was published.
The Lancet Commission on Liver Disease highlighted the financial impact liver disease places on the national healthcare in the UK, and suggested strategies to reduce these burdens. It is a very good report and there is a link to download it on the news page. The Financial Burden of Liver Disease.

In HBV, high core-related antigen levels predict cirrhosis. According to recently published data, elevated hepatitis B virus core-related antigen levels significantly increased the risk for progression to cirrhosis among patients with chronic hepatitis B who are hepatitis B e antigen-negative and are not receiving nucleos(t)ide analogue therapy.

On the Front Lines:
HepCBC was out on the front lines again last week, again at 2 very different events.  We had an info booth at the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Alley Health Fair (Hepatitis Info at DTES Alley Health Fair 2017) and we also were present at the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Chinese Health Fair in Burnaby.

We also had an info booth at the CGSNA (Canadian Gastroenterological Society Nurses and Associates) Conference in Victoria this week, and we will be at the 55+ Lifestyle Show at the PNE in Vancouver this weekend.  Heartfelt thanks to our volunteers, who give their all to make sure these events are a success!