Hepatitis C

First WHO prequalified hepatitis C rapid test opens the door to expanded treatment

WHO has just prequalified its first hepatitis C virus (HCV) rapid diagnostic test, a tool that will aid diagnosis of HCV in low- and middle-income countries and improve access to treatment.
“The fact that we now have very effective new medicines for HCV needs to be bolstered by effective and affordable diagnostics,” said Dr Suzanne Hill, WHO Director for Essential Medicines and Health Products. “This new quality-assured test is good news for the many people awaiting diagnosis and treatment.”

Beyond Ebola, keeping patients and health workers safe

Dr Doussou Touré arrives for work at Coléah Medical Centre. She washes her hands from a bucket set up in front of the building, proceeds to a screening area where her temperature is checked and recorded and only then enters the bustling facility that she supervises.
“Ebola is under control now, but we try to keep up the infection prevention and control systems that were put in place during the outbreak,” Dr Touré says, pointing to several sturdy, brightly-coloured bins, each one designated for the disposal of varying waste matter.

Hepatitis C treatments skyrocket after pill-based drugs covered by B.C. plan

About 1,400 British Columbians have been treated for hepatitis C in the first four months since new anti-viral medications were covered by the province’s public drug plan — far above predictions.
The Ministry of Health expected 1,500 patients in the first full year for the pill-based medication.
Dr. Mel Krajden, medical head of hepatitis at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, says the numbers reflect pent-up demand from patients seeking the latest treatments.

As Hepatitis C Cases Triple In Tennessee, Outbreak Prompts Public Health Warning

A steady increase in the number of Hepatitis C cases in recent years prompted the Tennessee Department of Health to issue a public health warning Monday, urging residents to educate themselves about the virus and get tested, especially if they have a history of injecting drugs. Some 100,000 Tennesseans could have Hepatitis C and not know it, Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner said.

12,000 Sydney dental patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis

About 12,000 dental patients in Sydney are at risk of having contracted HIV or other blood-borne viruses after an investigation found equipment has not been sterilised and cleaned properly in practices across the city.
NSW Health has confirmed six dentists have had their registration suspended and one dentist’s practice has been closed after patient complaints in November and December last year led to the discovery of breaches in infection control.

Appalachia Gripped by Hepatitis C Epidemic, Bracing for HIV

Patton Couch shook his head and clenched his teeth, recounting the night four years ago when he plucked a dirty needle from a pile at a flophouse and jabbed it into his scarred arm.
He knew the odds; most of the addicts in the room probably had hepatitis C.
"All I cared about was how soon and how fast I could get it in," he says. "I hated myself, it was misery. But when you're in the grips of it, the only way I thought I could escape it was one more time."

Merck announces exceptional hepatitis C therapy study results

Merck recently released the results from its Phase 2 and 3 study of an investigational therapy, grazoprevir/elbasvir, for patients with chronic hepatitis C infections and advanced chronic kidney disease.
The treatment regimen of 100mg of grazoprevir and 50 mg of elbasvir requires daily doses. The study involved treatment-naïve patients as well as other patients who did not succeed with prior pegylated interferon HCV therapy. All of the patients enrolled in the study had CKD in Stage 4 or 5.

Needle exchanges could stem HIV outbreak

 An HIV outbreak in Scott County, Ind., has infected 106 people thus far, and despite reservations, Gov. Mike Pence green-lit a 30-day needle exchange program to stem the tide.
But public health advocates say the exchange program should be extended to really make an impact and expanded across the state as such programs have been shown to be effective in stemming the tide of HIV and hepatitis C infection among IV drug users.

Merck receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy designations for HCV treatment

Merck & Co., Inc. said Wednesday it has received two Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the company’s grazoprevir/elbasvir investigational single-tablet regimen to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.
Merck , commonly called MSD outside the US and Canada, received the designations for the treatment for patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 (GT4) infections and for patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 (GT1) infections with end stage renal disease.

Hey, European countries--join forces to bring down drug prices, WHO suggests

You want to reduce high prices for new meds, European countries? Here's a suggestion for you: Work together.