Friday, April 13, 2018

News Recap:

Initiative aims to treat Hepatitis C in Alberta patients who also have HIV. A long-term effort to eliminate Hepatitis C as a public health threat is underway in Alberta, where a new program aims to provide medications to one particularly vulnerable group of patients. NOTE: In Alberta, coverage has been expanded as of April 1 to include all patients with hepatitis C. Previously, coverage was provided only to patients at an advanced stage of the disease or those with complications.

Screening for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C-related cirrhosis achieving sustained virological response is likely to be cost effective. Surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by ultrasound is likely to be cost effective in patients with hepatitis C-related liver cirrhosis after they have achieved a sustained virological response (SVR) to direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), according to the results of a Canadian study presented at ILC 2018.

8 reports on liver cancer outcomes with HCV, DAA therapy. Patients with hepatitis C have an increased risk for disease progression to cirrhosis and potentially hepatocellular carcinoma. Several recent studies refute previous data suggesting that DAA therapy may increase the risk for liver cancer. Rather, researchers have found it more likely that any increased risk for HCC after DAA therapy is linked to baseline risk factors.

Viral Eradication:
Non-profit’s $300 hepatitis C cure as effective as $84,000 alternative. An affordable hepatitis C treatment has been shown to be safe and effective, with very high cure rates for patients including hard-to-treat cases, in interim clinical trial results that offer hope to the 71 million people living with the disease worldwide. The treatment is expected to cost $300 for 12 weeks, or $3.50 per day.

Treatment advocate tactics to expand access to antiviral therapy for HIV and viral hepatitis C in low- to high-income settings: making sure no one is left behindA number of practical actions can help increase access to DAAs, including new research and development (R&D) paradigms; compassionate use, named-patient and early access programmes; use of TRIPS flexibilities such as compulsory licences and patent oppositions; and parallel importation via buyers’ clubs. Together, these approaches can increase access to antiviral therapy for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis in low-, middle- and high-income settings.

EASL / ILC 2018:
New Guidelines, Expanded Opportunities Mark EASL’s Liver Congress. Changes in hepatology, new clinical practice guidelines, and new recommendations for hepatitis C therapies will mark this year’s meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). This year’s International Liver Conference 2018 runs from Wednesday April 11 to Sunday April 15, and will feature over 1,500 original scientific abstracts.

Hepatitis B increases mortality risk in patients with acute hepatitis E. Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is an independent risk factor for liver-related mortality in people with acute hepatitis E virus infection, according to researchers. Hepatitis E (HEV) is also associated with a higher mortality rate than acute hepatitis A (HAV), they wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.