A newly developed method of inactivating hepatitis C virus (HCV) in donor lungs has the potential to increase transplantations for patients with end stage lung disease without necessitating post-transplant antiviral treatment.
“The shortage of suitable organs leads to high waiting list mortality rates. Consequently, approaches to increase organ availability are critical for realizing the maximum potential benefit of transplantation,” explained Marcelo Cypel, MD, MSc, Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues.
The investigators point out that while the use of post-transplant direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment is currently being assessed as a method of utilizing HCV-positive organs, the clearance or inactivation of the virus prior to transplantation would be a more attractive alternative. There is no rationale for DAA treatment of the lung ex-vivo, however, as viral replication is not thought to occur within the lung.
The drugmaker Gilead Sciences has been hit with a whistle-blower suit accusing it of paying healthcare providers to boost sales of its hepatitis and HIV drugs.
In an unsealed False Claims Act case in California federal court, a whistle-blower claimed Gilead’s Frontlines of Communities in the United States program, which partners with healthcare organizations, government agencies, universities, and community groups to facilitate hepatitis and HIV screenings, resulted in billions of dollars in excess government spending.
U.S. sales of Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni through both public and private payers totaled $20.6 billion after rebates from December 2013 to August 2015, according to the company’s financial reports. The drugs can cost between $80,000 and $100,000 for a full treatment cycle and Medicare spent nearly $8.2 billion before rebates for the 18-month period after Sovaldi was introduced in December 2013, the Senate found in an investigation.
Universal prenatal hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening was found to be cost-effective and improved health outcomes in women diagnosed with HCV infection and identification of HCV exposure in neonates, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
A research team used a stochastic microsimulation model to analyze the health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of universal testing for HCV infection during prenatal care. Lifetimes of 250 million pregnant women matched at baseline with the US population on age, injection use behaviors, and HCV infection status were simulated. Two scenarios were considered: current practice screening of a small percentage of women during prenatal care, and universal testing for HCV infection at the first clinical encounter for each pregnancy.
HCV disease progression was modeled according to stages of liver fibrosis as categorized by METAVIR scores. HCV testing was modeled at the first prenatal visit with serum HCV antibody testing followed by HCV RNA testing. Treatment was modeled with a 12-week regimen based on sofosbuvir and velpatasvir for those with cirrhosis and an 8-week regimen of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir for those without cirrhosis. Clinical trial and real-world effectiveness data were used to determine treatment adherence and sustained virologic response rates between 93% and 99% depending on HCV genotype and stage of fibrosis. Age-stratified healthcare costs were estimated using the Medicare Reimbursement Fee Schedule.
Florida Department of Corrections staff briefed a House panel on the structure and status of prison health care Wednesday before detailing some of their 2019-20 budget requests.
DOC in recent years has faced budget shortfalls, causing them to make dramatic cuts to inmate health care services. The $55 million shortfall last budget year caused officials to slash substance-abuse, mental-health and re-entry programs by more than $10 million to make ends meet.
The department had another $28 million shortfall in the current fiscal year but didn’t provide detailed projections for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
More Than Tested, Empowered: The Growth of Peer-Involved National Hepatitis C Programs
Please join us for a webinar on
February 26th from 4:00 – 5:00 pm ET
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) invites you to join us on Tuesday,February 26th (4pm EST) for our next webinar, “More than Tested, Empowered – The Growth of Peer-Involved National Hepatitis C Programs.”
The “More than Tested, Empowered” program aims to address challenges associated with hepatitis C (HCV) diagnosis and care among individuals who use drugs. This webinar will highlight strategies to expand peer-involved HCV programs and extend harm reduction services into the community. Hear from our partners at the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, and the Urban Survivor’s Union about their work to facilitate the growth of programs that improve access to HCV services for individuals who use drugs.
Sofosbuvir for the treatment of hepatitis C specifically in Asian American communities was well-tolerated, according to a new report.
Investigators from NYU School of Medicine identified 186 eligible patients from across 11 sites in the United States and enrolled them in their study in order to evaluate sofosbuvir-based regimens in a cohort of Asian Americans. The study authors said that there is only limited data about treatment outcomes in Asian Americans with hepatitis C.
The study period lasted from December 2013 through June 2017 and the investigators measured sustained virologic response rates at 12 and 24 weeks post-treatment. The study authors also examined secondary endpoints of safety by tolerability and adverse events.