When Catherine de Neumann was refused a miracle drug to cure her illness, she circumvented the system. MARION SAUVEBOIS reports
IN this day and age it seems unthinkable that anyone should be denied life-changing treatment.
But after nearly three decades in the throes of hepatitis C, Catherine De Neumann was refused the new “miracle” remedy she had pinned all of her hopes on simply because she was not deemed sick enough – yet.
VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ – Most Canadians thought the tainted blood tragedy had been fully addressed. But there are hundreds of tainted blood victims still waiting for the compensation that was promised to them by the Government of Canada.
Lawyers representing some of the more than 500 victims in the pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis-C settlement group filed a submission last week in Vancouver requesting that the courts of Ontario, Québec and British Columbia address a $65 million shortfall in their settlement fund.
“This is an issue of equity,” said David Klein, managing partner of Klein Lawyers LLP, representing pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis C victims. “We have one group of victims whose claims were just topped up a month ago, when a $250 million surplus in their fund was distributed to victims. And we have another group of victims who submitted their claims on time, have been approved, and are still awaiting compensation.”
The Hepatitis C Trust’s Art on a Postcard is back for its second year at Moniker with postcards and customised car bonnets. The Postcard Lottery was a huge hit at last year’s Moniker Art Fair and sold out before the end. The lottery gives visitors the chance to own an original artwork by one of the many world renowned artists involved. By purchasing a £50 lottery ticket you are guaranteed to win a postcard size work of art from the likes of Harland Miller, Peter Blake, Ally McIntyre Brad Downey, Zsofia Schweger, Inkie, Eelus, Pure Evil and Rugman.
The key issues highlighted by Gore were related to the fact that there are real restrictions placed on accessing the newer therapies for this infection that have not been imposed in other disease areas, with other medicines, in other patients. Resources are limited; however, denying individuals timely access to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-approved, evidence-based, cost-effective therapies is, indeed, exceptional.
St. Clair Jones points out the advances that have been made — the effective early access programme for the newer therapies, the setting up of functional operational delivery networks, the potential for accurate data collection, etc, — and although these are undoubtedly true, the direct rationing of access to the newer advances is equally true.
Methadone users may delay seeking treatment for hepatitis due to misconceptions about the disease and its treatment options, according to study results presented at the 2016 EASL Special Conference: New Perspectives in Hepatitis C Virus Infection.
“The results of this study showed clear conceptual differences about barriers, benefits and beliefs about HCV treatment between methadone clients who did and did not have HCV,” Sarah B. Bass, PhD, MPH, associate professor of public health at Temple University in Philadelphia, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “Those who were HCV [positive] believed that treatment was ‘worth it,’ but were also concerned about others believing they might have HIV and that not having symptoms was a reason for not being treated.”
Bass and colleagues surveyed 150 patients — 100 with HCV — undergoing methadone maintenance treatment and used perceptual maps to illustrate their findings.
Updated results of an ongoing Phase 2a study carried out by Janssen subsidiary Alios BioPharma showed all patients who received a triple therapy of AL-335, odalasvir and Olysio (simperevir) had undetectable levels of hepatitis C virus sustained 12 weeks after finishing treatment.
Efficacy was seen even in the cohort of patients who were given the combo over six weeks, underscoring the potential of the therapy to be a speedier alternative to current hepatitis C drugs on the market.
Development will continue with a once-daily dose of odalasvir (25 mg), AL-335 (800 mg) and Olysio (75 mg) for treatment durations of both six and eight weeks. The Phase 2a study will continue to assess the combination in patients with or without compensated cirrhosis and HCV genotype 3 infections.
The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases/Infectious Diseases Society of America Guidance Panel has updated its guidelines concerning patients beginning antiviral therapies for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).
The Guidance Panel now recommends that all such patients be screened for the hepatitis B virus (HBV) as well. The changes to the guidelines came after researchers observed cases of HBV reactivation in HBV/HCV co-infected patients during direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for HCV.
“The severity of these cases have ranged from mild to severe fulminant liver injury that can be life threatening,” Raymond Chung, MD, co-chair of the HCV Guidance Panel, said in a statement.