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Hepatitis C

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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.
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SCIENCE
April 12, 2014 | Melissa Healy
Twenty-five years after scientists first identified the hepatitis C virus, doctors are declaring victory over an infection that afflicts more than 3 million Americans and kills more of them than HIV. In a series of clinical trial results, a new generation of antiviral medications was able to clear the liver-ravaging virus from virtually all patients' bloodstreams in as little as eight weeks. Even in patients with the most stubborn infections, the new drugs were capable of suppressing the virus completely at rates well over 90%. The treatments, however, come with a steep price tag. The "sustained virologic responses" reported in the trials typically mean an infection has been permanently cleared.
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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.
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.
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 | 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 Thursday, 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. Previous therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and had numerous side effects.
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.
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.
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
February 26, 1991 | From United Press International
The Food and Drug Administration Monday approved a genetically engineered copy of a natural protein for treatment of a common, potentially deadly form of hepatitis. The FDA notified Schering-Plough Corp. of Kenilworth, N. J., that it may market its version of alpha interferon for use against chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis, also known as hepatitis C.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | 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 Thursday, 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. Previous therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and had numerous side effects.
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.
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.
NEWS
November 27, 1998 | JULIE MARQUIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hepatitis C, a potentially deadly disease that has become the nation's leading cause of liver transplants, silently stalks more than 3 million Americans but remains largely off the radar screen of public health. Although the disease is believed to infect more than four times as many Americans as the human immunodeficiency virus, it has only recently been targeted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a national battle plan.
NEWS
March 27, 1997 | MARLENE CIMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal advisory panel on Wednesday acknowledged in frustration that the medical community lacks remedies to help the nearly 4 million Americans chronically infected with Hepatitis C, a stubborn and wily virus that has eluded both an effective treatment and vaccine. Although the incidence of new Hepatitis C infections appears on the decline since its peak in 1989, there are an estimated 30,000 new cases annually in the United States and 8,000 deaths.
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.
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