The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a summary of their 2014 surveillance data. Hepatitis C-related deaths continue to rise, reaching an all-time high in 2014. New hepatitis C infections are also increasing. Hepatitis B continues to be infect and claim lives, despite the fact that there is protection against it in the form of a vaccine.
A powerful summary of the CDC news, plus other research can be found in blog.AIDS.gov. Here are some quotes:
- “Hepatitis C-related mortality in 2013 surpassed the total combined number of deaths from 60 other infectious diseases reported to CDC, including HIV, pneumococcal disease, and tuberculosis. Further, both studies use data from death certificates which often underreport hepatitis C, so there likely were even more hepatitis C-related deaths than these numbers suggest.”
- “According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases earlier this year, many baby boomers were infected via medical procedures in the years after World War II, when injection and blood transfusion technologies were not as safe as they are today.”
The American Journal of Managed Care published a special hepatitis C issue. I recommend reading all of it, especially the following:
- It’s Time to End Insurance Restrictions on Life-Saving Hepatitis C Treatments by Ryan Clary, NVHR’s Executive Director
- A Way Out of the Dismal Arithmetic of Hepatitis C Treatment by Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD of Stanford Medical School
- The Wider Public Health Value of HCV Treatment Accrued by Liver Transplant Recipients by Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD of Harvard, et al.
The FDA issued a revised draft guidance on developing new hep C treatments. This is a draft and not policy, but I was excited to see recommendations encouraging rapid development of pediatric hepatitis C treatment studies. The other noteworthy recommendation is the FDA calls on sponsors to conduct head-to-head Phase III studies for drugs in development.
And finally, the Journal of Hepatology published yet another body of research showing that the survival rate of patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis who respond well to antiviral therapies equals that of the general population.
And this is just some of the recent hep C news. To stay current, visit the news feed at HEPmag.com. On the right, you will see a button to sign-up for their newsletter.