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Hepatitis C

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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
A pair of new drugs to treat hepatitis C offer a cure for millions of Americans afflicted with the disease - but at a potentially staggering cost to taxpayers and health plans. Until now, therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and posed numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia or depression. In comparison, clinical trials of Sovaldi and Olysio have shown cure rates of 80% to 90% with far fewer complications. That progress, though, comes at a price.
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BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
U.S. lawmakers have asked Gilead Sciences Inc. to justify the price of its new $84,000 drug for hepatitis C patients amid growing concern about the high cost to taxpayers and consumers. In a letter to the Foster City, Calif., company, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and two other Democratic lawmakers asked Gilead Chief Executive John C. Martin to explain the rationale for selling Sovaldi for $1,000 per pill. Medical experts say previous therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and had numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia and depression.
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NATIONAL
April 18, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
Dozens of Oklahoma dental patients have been diagnosed with hepatitis C and at least one case of HIV, state health officials said Thursday, four weeks after finding a multitude of health code violations, including rusty tools, at a dental practice in Tulsa. Authorities said they were still determining whether the infections were connected with unsanitary practices at W. Scott Harrington's two offices in Tulsa and a Tulsa suburb, which prompted officials to notify 7,000 of the dentist's patients.
OPINION
March 12, 2014
Re "Prices of new drugs tough to take," March 10 I understand the necessity for drug companies to recoup research and development costs. But in regard to a medication that can cure hepatitis C, a spokesman for the maker of one drug that costs about $1,000 per pill says that the price reflects the "value" of the drug. This is unconscionable. I have multiple sclerosis, and my drugs are costly. In my case, prices should have dropped once all research and development were recouped; instead, they have increased.
SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
The number of Americans who are infected with hepatitis C is falling, but that's probably because more people who have been sickened by the virus are dying as a result, government researchers reported Monday. After analyzing data from thousands of people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 1% of the population over age 5 have hepatitis C. If so, that would translate to 2.68 million people with the virus, known as HCV. In addition, the researchers estimated that 900,000 additional people once had the liver disease but no longer have an active infection.
SCIENCE
May 8, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Half of all patients who have tested positive for hepatitis C have not had follow-up testing to see if they are still infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means many people are living with the disease and not receiving the necessary treatment to prevent health problems, officials said this week. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States. The findings prompted the CDC to issue new guidelines urging healthcare providers to do a follow-up test on anyone who tests positive to an hepatitis C antibody test, which determines whether someone has ever been infected.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
U.S. lawmakers have asked Gilead Sciences Inc. to justify the price of its new $84,000 drug for hepatitis C patients amid growing concern about the high cost to taxpayers and consumers. In a letter to the Foster City, Calif., company, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and two other Democratic lawmakers asked Gilead Chief Executive John C. Martin to explain the rationale for selling Sovaldi for $1,000 per pill. Medical experts say previous therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and had numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia and depression.
NATIONAL
August 17, 2009 | DeeDee Correll
By her own admission, Kristen Diane Parker cruised for empty operating rooms at the Denver hospital where she worked. The surgical technician would slip into the rooms and steal syringes of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller, replacing them with syringes she'd filled with saline, she later confessed to investigators. Parker, who has hepatitis C, had allegedly used those decoy syringes -- the source of transmission, authorities believe, for at least 23 Coloradans now infected with the liver-damaging disease.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 17, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole has been diagnosed with hepatitis C, her publicist said in a statement Wednesday. Hepatitis C is a liver disease spread through contact with infected blood. The statement said the disease was revealed during a routine examination and was likely caused by her drug use years ago. Her physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Graham Woolf, said Cole, 58, has had a "terrific response to her medication and is now virus negative." He added that this "gives her an increased chance of cure."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Rock singer Steven Tyler says he was diagnosed with hepatitis C three years ago after having the illness for a long time without any symptoms. In an interview that was to air Tuesday on "Access Hollywood," the 58-year-old Aerosmith frontman said the infection was now "nonexistent" in his bloodstream after 11 months of treatment, including the drug interferon.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
A pair of new drugs to treat hepatitis C offer a cure for millions of Americans afflicted with the disease - but at a potentially staggering cost to taxpayers and health plans. Until now, therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and posed numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia or depression. In comparison, clinical trials of Sovaldi and Olysio have shown cure rates of 80% to 90% with far fewer complications. That progress, though, comes at a price.
SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
The number of Americans who are infected with hepatitis C is falling, but that's probably because more people who have been sickened by the virus are dying as a result, government researchers reported Monday. After analyzing data from thousands of people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 1% of the population over age 5 have hepatitis C. If so, that would translate to 2.68 million people with the virus, known as HCV. In addition, the researchers estimated that 900,000 additional people once had the liver disease but no longer have an active infection.
WORLD
February 28, 2014 | By Amro Hassan
CAIRO - An Egyptian army doctor's recent announcement that the country's military had developed devices that could detect HIV and cure AIDS and hepatitis C has caused a furor of disbelief rather than praise. The physician, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdul Atti, said last week that 22 years of studies that were endorsed by Egypt's intelligence service as a "secret project" reached findings that would "revolutionize" the process of curing viruses. The announcement at a news conference was accompanied by a short video that showed patients connected to machines.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A drug-addicted medical technician has been sentenced to 39 years in federal prison for infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C while working at hospitals in several states. David M. Kwiatkowski, 34, had worked at medical facilities in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Kansas, Georgia and New Hampshire as of 2007. In 2010, he learned that he had hepatitis C, a potentially lethal viral disease that can seriously damage the liver in some patients. He also claimed to have Crohn's disease, a digestive ailment.
NATIONAL
October 15, 2013 | By Tina Susman
Accused Libyan terrorist Abu Anas al Liby pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York on Tuesday to charges of conspiring to kill U.S. citizens in connection with the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998. Al Liby , whose real name is Nazih Abdul Hamed Ruqai, entered his plea 10 days after being grabbed by American forces during a secret raid in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. In court he said he preferred to be referred to as Ruqai rather than by his nom de guerre. Ruqai entered the tightly secured courtroom in lower Manhattan with his hands cuffed behind his back.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve, This post has been corrected, as noted below
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday for the first time approved a type of diagnostic test that will allow doctors to determine what kind of hepatitis C virus a chronically infected patient has, and tailor treatments based on that genetic type. No vaccine exists for the hepatitis C virus, or HCV, the most common blood-borne infection in the country. HCV infects about 3.2 million people in the U.S and leads to the death of 15,000 people annually. "Hepatitis C is known as the silent killer, as many of the symptoms go unnoticed," HIV and viral hepatitis expert Carol Brosgart, professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, said in a statement.
SCIENCE
December 4, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
An experimental antiviral drug that works by a different mechanism than existing drugs has been shown to suppress hepatitis C in chimpanzees and is already being tested in human clinical trials, researchers reported Thursday. The new agent is a so-called antisense drug that binds to RNA required by the virus for replication, preventing the virus from proliferating in the liver. Preliminary tests suggest that the drug, called SPC3649, has no toxic side effects, does not allow development of resistance -- which plagues other hepatitis drugs -- and has lasting effects after treatment has stopped.
NATIONAL
November 20, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
At least 81 people treated at a cancer clinic in Fremont have tested positive for hepatitis C in an outbreak that may have been caused by a contaminated vial of medicine, health officials said. Dr. Tom Safranek, the state epidemiologist, said poor medical practices at Dr. Tahir Javed's clinic may be to blame.
NEWS
June 10, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Why is it seemingly such a secret what the cause of death was of Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker"? With everything the public knows about his crimes, his weird beliefs and his many victims, for some reason this is being kept from open knowledge, at least for now. All authorities will say is that he died of natural causes. The tabloids and gossip sites are reporting that it was hepatitis C; a handful contend that he turned bright green shortly before his death. But why are people left to guess whether these reports are true rather than simply receive a short, official statement?
SCIENCE
May 8, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Half of all patients who have tested positive for hepatitis C have not had follow-up testing to see if they are still infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means many people are living with the disease and not receiving the necessary treatment to prevent health problems, officials said this week. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States. The findings prompted the CDC to issue new guidelines urging healthcare providers to do a follow-up test on anyone who tests positive to an hepatitis C antibody test, which determines whether someone has ever been infected.
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