Month: February 2016

Cherokee Nation vows to eradicate hepatitis C


In Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation has waged war against hepatitis C.

With infection rates among Cherokee Indians nearly five times higher than other racial or ethnic groups in the U.S., the group has become the first community in the country and one of only a few in the world to set a goal of completely eliminating the virus from its population.

The virus, which is most commonly transmitted through the sharing of needles, can lead to liver damage, cancer and even death.

That’s why Cherokee Nation officials began working with the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Health department and federal health officials to launch an initiative to tackle hep C by boosting screening efforts and using the latest pharmaceutical research.

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List of Approved Hepatitis C Medication

Updated February 08, 2016
When the drug Sovaldi (sofusbuvir) was first introduced into the market in September 2014, it marked not only a sea change in how we treated chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection, it made obsolete earlier generation medications which demonstrated no where near the efficacy of this newer direct acting antiviral (DAA). Among them, Vertex Pharmaceutical’s Incivek (telapravir) and Merck’s Victrelis (boceprevir), both of which were voluntarily discontinued in October 2014 and December 2015, respectively.

Following fast on Sovaldi’s heels were six additional DAA molecules and a number of combination pills able to treat an ever-widening range of HCV genotypes—and with shorter treatment duration and far fewer side effects.

With cure rates well exceeding 95% in many cases, the only challenge now is how to effectively expand access to the 130-150 million people chronically infected with HCV worldwide (including 9% of the HIV-infected population believed to be co-infected with HCV).

The following DAAs are listed by order of their FDA approval dates:

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Hepatitis C drug maker is price-gouging, GOP lawmaker says

The chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee has accused the makers of hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir of opportunism and price-gouging for charging the U.S. government up to $68,000 for a treatment regimen that costs about $1,400 to manufacture.