Hepatitis C Policy Project: Latest Hepatitis C News and Research

Latest Hepatitis C News and Research

Boston, New Bedford and Springfield identified as Hep C hotspots in Massachusetts using innovative techniques.

Using innovative techniques in spatial epidemiology, geographical information systems, and statistical modeling, 3 areas in Massachusetts, namely, Boston, New Bedford and Springfield has been identified as hotspots of Hepatitis C infections.

These techniques offers new tools in identifying areas where maximal benefit for Hepatitis C intervention strategies can be set up. It also offers up areas where education efforts and other support systems can give the most benefit especially in an age if limited resources.

For more information: see http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/spatial-epidemiology-used-identify-three-key-hepatitis-c-hotspots-massachusetts

Florida State Prisons Ordered to Treat Inmates with Hepatitis C

In the Florida State prison system, between 7,000 to 20,000 inmates are believed to be infected with Hepatitis C.  Yet, only 13 of them have received treatment using direct acting retrovirals (DAA) which have been found to cure the disease due to the high cost of treatment.

Last November 17, 2017, Judge Mark Walker found that Florida corrections officials have a “long and sordid history” of failing to treat inmates infected with the Hepatitis C virus and ordered the state to immediately come up with a plan to properly provide care.

For more information, see: http://www.theledger.com/news/20171118/state-prisons-ordered-to-treat-hepatitis-c

A subset of exposed patients are resistant to Hep C.

A small subset of exposed individuals appear to be resistant to Hepatitis C infection. This phenomenon appears to be linked to enhanced Natural Killer Cell activity among this population.

for more information, see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29063663

Idaho Appropriations Committee Approves 3 Million for Inmate Hepatitis C Treament

Idaho Joint-Finance Appropriations Committee approves 19-0 the request for $3 million supplementary budget request of the Idaho Department of Correction. Currently, roughly 30% of prisoners  or about 2,500 individuals are infected with the virus with the cost of treatment costing as much as $62,000 per inmate.


For more information, see https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/idaho/articles/2018-01-18/state-budget-panel-oks-3m-for-inmate-hepatitis-c-cure

Liver Cancer risks not linked to Hepatitis C treatment with Direct Acting Antiretrovirals

Being treated with Direct Acting Antiretrovirals (DAA) which is the treatment modality for Hepatitis C is not directly correlated with the development of liver cancer. Researchers found that development of cancer was linked with the patients’ preexisting likelihood of developing cancer rather than the use of the drug.

For more information, see https://www.healio.com/hepatology/hepatitis-c/news/online/%7Be33049e8-2b8e-47f5-ba1e-6ad01e1e88b8%7D/liver-cancer-incidence-after-hcv-therapy-linked-to-risk-factors-not-treatment%20%C2%A0

Crossing the placental barrier: Infected Moms-to-be transmit Hep C

Wisconsin has seen a doubling of women on Medicaid with hepatitis C infection in pregnancy which resulted in an increase of babies being afflicted with the liver disease.  This rapid rise of cases is attributed to the needle-sharing practices of a rising number of people addicted to opiates.

CDC estimates a 6 percent mother-to-child transmission rate nationwide which underscores the need for testing of pregnant women for the disease and an intensive education campaign to increase awareness of the disease among this population.

For more information, see https://www.drugs.com/news/tiny-opioid-victims-addicted-moms-transmit-hepatitis-c-67525.html

Minnesota Inmates sue the State for Access to Hepatitis C Antiretrovirals

5 inmates afflicted with Hepatitis in Minnesota sue the state for highly effective direct acting retrovirals. These drugs have cure rates of 95% but are priced from $26,400 to over $ 100,000 per patient.

For more information: see http://www.startribune.com/the-drug-can-cost-100-000-do-minnesota-inmates-have-a-right-to-get-it/467581443/

FDA Approves first 8 week treatment for Hepatitis C Genotype 1-6

The FDA has recently approved Mavyret, a combination of glecaprevir and pribentasvir, for Hepatitis C Genotype 1-6 without cirrhosis. The new drug shortens a previous 12-week treatment to 8 weeks. It is also an additional option for patients who have not been successful previously.

For more information, see https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm570038.htm


17 States have a High HCV rate due to lack of policies to prevent drug users from getting the disease

A report published by the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report correlated the lack of policy on injection drug users with an increase incidence of infection of Hepatits C. Most of these States new cases of the disease were attributed to this population but the States lack a tailored policy for this segment of the population.


For more information, see  https://hepatitisnewstoday.com/2017/05/18/report-links-high-hepatitis-c-rate-in-17-american-states-to-policy-shortcomings/