Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher co-pays because of the drug’s… Read More

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been named “human immunodeficiency virus;” that… Read More

Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

By Brenda L. Mooney PITTSBURGH – Will hepatitis C become a rare disease over the next two decades or so? The answer is yes, according to a computer simulation conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health… Read More

Few HIV Patients at VA Reduce Risks by Achieving Undetectable Viral Loads

By Annette M. Boyle Jeffery McCombs, PhD LOS ANGELES — While achieving undetectable viral loads reduces the risk of death associated with hepatitis C by 45% and other adverse liver-related complications by 27%, only 4% of eligible patients in a… Read More

VA Clinicians Optimistic about Effectiveness of New HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle David Ross, MD, PhD WASHINGTON — New therapies for hepatitis C (HCV) are pouring out of the pharmaceutical pipeline and promising effective treatment with fewer side effects for many of the 170,000 veterans with chronic HCV… Read More

Fast-Tracking VA Liver Cancer Patients: Interarterial Therapy Up Tenfold in Chicago

Ramona Gupta, MD By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO — At the Jesse Brown VAMC in Chicago, a multidisciplinary team approach to evaluating and treating veterans with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has reduced wait times for treatment and dramatically improved care to… Read More

New Therapies, Programs Affect Hepatitis C Treatment within VA

By David Ross, MD, PhD, MBI, director, HIV, HCV and Public Health Pathogens Programs, Office of Public Health/Clinical Public Health Lorenzo L. McFarland, DHA, MSW, PMP, senior manager, Public Health Program, HIV, Hepatitis and Public Health Pathogens Programs/Clinical Public Health… Read More

Drug Approved to Boost Platelet Counts Could Increase VA HCV Treatment Rates

“The approval of eltrombopag allows us to pharmacologically increase platelet counts so that we can initiate and maintain treatment in patients who could not otherwise be treated and achieve a sustained virologic response.” — Mitchell Shiffman, MD director of the… Read More

Triple Therapy for Hepatitis C: High Cure Rate, Greater Risks

Annette M. Boyle LOS ANGELES — The approval last year of the first new drugs for treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) in 20 years substantially increased the rate of virologic cure for patients with the most common form of the… Read More

Telemedicine Program Improving HCV Care for Rural Veterans

By Sandra Basu WEST HAVEN, CT — Twice-a-month online sessions hosted by the VA Connecticut Healthcare System are not typical telemedicine initiatives in which clinicians provide care to individual patients over electronic media. Instead, hepatitis C (HCV) specialists are training… Read More

Hepatitis E Threatens Military Forces but U.S. Has Kept It Well-Controlled

Since its discovery in the early 1980s, hepatitis E has been a potent threat to military forces around the world. At one point, the U.S. military was concerned enough to fund intensive research on a vaccine to protect against Hepevirus,… Read More

VA Looks to New Treatment Programs to Combat Alarming Rise in HCV-Related Cancer

Alarmed by a near tripling of the number of veterans developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during the past five years, VA has strengthened its programs for the prevention, screening and treatment of veterans with hepatitis C (HCV), which is a major… Read More

Telemedicine Program Gives Patients Benefit of Team Approach to Their Care

WEST HAVEN, CONN. — Over the last few years, telemedicine has partially redefined how health care is delivered to patients, especially those who do not live near medical centers. For the most part, it has been a one-to-one exchange. One… Read More

New Study Measures Effect of Strenuous Exercise on Soldiers’ Immune Systems

It may be possible to predict a soldier’s infection risks during and after strenuous physical exercise by pre-exercise immune system status or from a blood sample taken at rest, according to a recent study.1 According to the Swedish researchers,… Read More