As you can see the Viral Hepatitis Monthly E-newsletter has undergone some changes! It has a new look, using new software to deliver a more clear and organized newsletter!
Please send your comments about the newsletter to Brittany Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org
A survey has been sent to several health care providers and organizations, including local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Opioid Treatment Programs and more to collect information for an informational, comprehensive resource guide. But, I need your help! If you know someone in your area that provides viral hepatitis services, to Indiana residents please contact me or forward them the link to the survey. The more information on services that can be included, the better the resource guide will be. Hoosiers with hepatitis desperately need to know where to find these services. The survey link is below, please complete the survey and forward the link!
Hepatitis C Screening as Preventive Service covered by Medicare/Medicaid
In September, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began a formal review process to make screening for Hepatitis C in adults’ part of the preventive services it may cover in the coming years.
Under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, CMS is allowed to add coverage of "additional preventive services" if that service is recommended with a grade A (strongly recommended) or grade B (recommended) rating by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and meets certain other requirements. CMS has initiated an analysis on paying for preventive hepatitis C screening in adults.
The process allowed for public comment from September 5 until October 5. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Stay tuned for more information.
To read more, follow the link, http://bit.ly/17JqMQK
A Champion for Hepatitis: His Story
Click on the following link to read John’s Story, of Redemptive Suffering: From the Nightmare of Clinical Trials to the Gift of Healing And Becoming A Patient Advocate. As told through the Hepatitis C Support project. Visit http://bit.ly/1gyU9qQ
Hepatitis C Online Course: Management of Cirrhosis-Related Complications
Module 3: Management of Cirrhosis-Related Complications has been added to a self-study, interactive course for medical providers on Hepatitis C infection. Module 1: Screening and Diagnosis of Hepatitis C Infection and Module 2: Evaluation, Staging, and Monitoring of Chronic Hepatitis C are also active. New features include Color Coded Master Bibliography, Embedded Video and Clinical Calculators. The project is brought to you by the University of Washington in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA). Free CME credit and free CNE credit are available. This training module is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Helpline for Hepatitis
Don’t forget that help is as close as a phone call – the 877-HELP-4-HEP line (877-435-7443) is available 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information about the services offered, call or visit their website at www.help4hep.org The helpline is run by The Support Partnership: a group of non-profits working together to help people affected by hepatitis C.
New Drug Combo Helps Hard-to-Treat Hepatitis C
Combining an old drug with an experimental one may cure many cases of hard-to-treat hepatitis C -- without the harsh side effects of the standard regimen. Researchers stated that the study focused on patients who often do not respond well to the current hepatitis C drug regimen because they already had liver damage, harbored a particularly stubborn strain of the virus or had other "unfavorable treatment characteristics."
The therapy included one older hepatitis C drug, called ribavirin, and one currently being considered for approval in the United States and Europe, called sofosbuvir. Most important, the regimen excluded interferon -- an injection drug that is part of the current standard treatment for hepatitis C.
To read more click on the link, http://1.usa.gov/16f0xxL
Higher Cure Rate Options for Hepatitis C
Current hepatitis C therapy consists of a protease inhibitor, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin, but the adverse effects of flu-like symptoms and anemia are poorly tolerated by some patients and disqualify others because of comorbidities.
New therapies are shorter in duration and eliminate interferon but still lead to high cure rates. New therapies will be administered orally and target hepatitis C genotypes 2 and 3; genotype 1 will be treated with an oral agent, interferon, and ribavirin, but for a shorter period of time. The new regimens should have a higher cure rate than the current regimen, and be applicable to a wider patient population.
The new drugs and regimens have been in development for years, but they are coming to the market more rapidly now because the shorter treatment duration makes it possible to test them more quickly for safety and efficacy.
To read more, click on the link, http://bit.ly/16f4OBc
Hepatitis C Reinfection Rising Among HIV Patients
A new study shows that nearly 25 percent of HIV patients infected with and subsequently cured of the hepatitis C virus went on to acquire a second or even third infection within 24 months at one hospital in the United Kingdom. Researchers noted that these results suggest that better educational initiatives related to coinfection with HIV and HCV are needed.
It has previously been shown that coinfection with HIV reduces the spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C infection, reduces the rate of successful treatment, and can lead to a 3-fold increase in the rate of progression to cirrhosis.
To read more, follow the link, http://bit.ly/15LFkNc
New Therapy for Hepatitis B: Combo of 2 HIV Drugs
Two HIV antiretroviral drugs --Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine) that are typically combined as Truvada -- can suppress HBV in 76 percent of those with "immune-tolerant" infection, which was reported at the Euporean Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Immune-tolerant refers to a stage of the disease during which treatment usually isn't recommended, but which may represent an important window of opportunity for preventing both liver cancer and transmission of the virus. To read more, follow the link, http://bit.ly/187jYez