Month: December 2014

Public Radio Report: At The Crossroads, Part 5: The Uncomfortable Math Of Hep C Treatment

Rhode Island Public Radio recently hosted a series of informative radio segments on hepatitis C.  We continue sharing this series with Part Five: The Uncomfortable Math of Hep C Treatment.  The series covers a range of topics relevant to both patients and providers, including infection statistics, populations at highest risk, the newest pharmaceuticals designed to combat hepatitis C, and barriers for patients attempting to access treatment. Click here to listen to Part Five of At the Crossroads.

Synopsis:

What’s the price of a human life? Many of us would say each life is priceless. But health economists sometimes have a number in mind.

Want to know what that number is?

In this part of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and The Fight To Stop It,” we’ll tell you that – and more. We go beyond the high price of new hepatitis C drugs  to ask: how much is too much? And what the heck is a “quality adjusted life year” anyway?

If you are a person living with hepatitis C and have questions after reading this article or listening to the public radio broadcast, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

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Public Radio Report – At The Crossroads, Part 4: New Hep C Drugs Promise a Cure, for a Big Price

Rhode Island Public Radio recently hosted a series of informative radio segments on hepatitis C.  We continue sharing this series with Part Three: New Hep C Drugs Promise a Cure, for a Big Price.  The series covers a range of topics relevant to both patients and providers, including infection statistics, populations at highest risk, the newest pharmaceuticals designed to combat hepatitis C, and barriers for patients attempting to access treatment. Click here to listen to Part Four of At the Crossroads.

Synopsis:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Since then, people with hepatitis C have had limited – and not very effective – options for treatment.

Until now.

Revolutionary new treatments have hit the market in just the last few months. But they’re so expensive health insurers are balking at the price.

Part four of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop it” looks at the high cost of these new treatments and who’s paying for them.

AbbVie and Express Scripts are Paving the Way to Better Access to Hep C Treatment

The New York Times reports that a new deal between AbbVie Pharmaceuticals and Express Scripts will soon change the world of hepatitis C treatment.  This news comes on the heels of the announcement just this past Friday that AbbVie’s new hepatitis C combo treatment, Viekira Pak, has been approved by the FDA.

The full article can be found here.

PUBLIC RADIO REPORT – AT THE CROSSROADS: AS OLD HEPATITIS C TREATMENT FADES OUT, NEW TREATMENTS STOKE HOPE

Rhode Island Public Radio recently hosted a series of informative radio segments on hepatitis C.  We continue sharing this series with Part Three: As Old Hepatitis C Treatment Fades Out, New Treatments Stoke Hope.  The series covers a range of topics relevant to both patients and providers, including infection statistics, populations at highest risk, the newest pharmaceuticals designed to combat hepatitis C, and barriers for patients attempting to access treatment.Click here to listen to Part Three of At the Crossroads.

Synopsis:

In just a few weeks, another pharmaceutical company will likely win FDA approval for a new drug to cure hepatitis C. That makes three breakthrough medications hitting the market in less than a year. It’s big news for the estimated twenty thousand Rhode Islanders – and many more throughout New England –  living with chronic hepatitis C. Because some have been waiting decades for a cure.

Next in our series “At The Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop it,” why one man waited so long for treatment.

If you are a person living with hepatitis C and have questions after reading this article or listening to the public radio broadcast, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

FDA approves new Hepatitis C drug from Abbvie focused on Genotype 1

Caring Ambassadors reports that earlier today the FDA approved the newest drug to combat hepatitis C.  Read below for the full update.

“Today the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a powerful new tool for treating hepatitis C (HCV), AbbVie’s new all-oral, interferon-free drug regimen. The combination of ombitasvir, ritonavir, dasabuvir, and paritaprevir (with or without ribavirin), which will be marketed under the trade name Viekira Pak™, has proven highly effective in curing HCV genotype 1. The approval of this new regimen marks a significant step forward as it represents the second all-oral, interferon-free treatment for HCV to become available in just the last few months. The addition of AbbVie’s regimen will provide beneficial competition to Gilead’s Harvoni™, the all-oral, fixed-dose combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, that received FDA approval in October.

AbbVie’s regimen was approved by the FDA as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults. Approximately 75 percent of people infected with HCV in the United States have the genotype 1 strain of the virus. The new therapy is considered an advance not only because of the high cure rates that it has been able to achieve-more than 95 percent of genotype 1 patients were cured in large, phase three trials-but because of the simplicity of administration and the limited side effects. Because this treatment has been approved as an interferon-free regimen, many Americans who previously failed treatment or were ineligible or unwilling to undergo treatment due to the harsh side effects of previous treatments will have another effective option to be cured of their disease.

The arrival of these amazing new drug regimens for HCV has turned the last few months of 2014 into an exciting time for the millions of Americans living with HCV. The focus must now shift to ensuring that all patients who are interested in pursuing therapy have access to these outstanding new drug regimens. Caring Ambassadors encourages all parties- industry leaders and community advocates, patients and policymakers-to come to the table to find solutions that will benefit everyone. If we work together, we can eradicate hepatitis C virus in our lifetime.”  –Caring Ambassadors, www.caringambassadors.org

If you are a person living with hepatitis C and have questions after reading this article, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

 

 

PUBLIC RADIO REPORT – AT THE CROSSROADS: FINDING HEP C INFECTIONS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Rhode Island Public Radio recently hosted a series of informative radio segments on hepatitis C.  We continue sharing this series with Part Two: Finding Hep C Infections Before It’s Too Late.  The series covers a range of topics relevant to both patients and providers, including infection statistics, populations at highest risk, the newest pharmaceuticals designed to combat hepatitis C, and barriers for patients attempting to access treatment.

Click here to listen to Part Two of At the Crossroads.

Synopsis:

Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, nearly 20-thousand Rhode Islanders among them. And most of them don’t know it. But many are about to find out. It takes about 20 years for most people to notice any symptoms from hepatitis C, and it was about that long ago most people got infected. Now doctors in Rhode Island and throughout the country are noticing a wave of patients with the kind of advanced liver disease hepatitis C can cause.

As part of our series “At the Crossroads: Hepatitis C On The Rise And The Fight To Stop It,” we check in on the race to find infections before it’s too late.

If you are a person living with hepatitis C and have questions after reading this article or listening to the public radio broadcast, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

Public Radio Report – At the Crossroads: Hepatitis C on the Rise and the Fight to Stop It

Rhode Island Public Radio recently hosted a series of informative radio segments on hepatitis C.  Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting this series on StepUpToHep.  The series covers a range of topics relevant to both patients and providers, including infection statistics, populations at highest risk, the newest pharmaceuticals designed to combat hepatitis C, and barriers for patients attempting to access treatment.

Click here to listen to Part One of At the Crossroads: A Tale of Two Epidemics.

Synopsis: One infectious disease – Ebola – is dominating the headlines now. But there’s another that affects far more people around the world, including here in the U.S.  Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, though most of them don’t know it, because it takes years for symptoms to emerge. Now, deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise in baby boomers. And throughout New England, new infections are creeping up among a younger generation. Less than a year ago, their only options for treatment were complicated regimens of injections that didn’t always work. But brand new drugs could change everything. That is, if the cost doesn’t break the bank.

If you are a person living with hepatitis C and have questions after reading this article or listening to the public radio broadcast, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).