Navigation Links
Alarming trend -- antiviral therapy to treat hepatitis C is declining in the US

Researchers from the University of Michigan determined that only 663,000 of the approximately 3.9 million Americans with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection received antiviral therapy between 2002 and 2007. Treatment rates appear to be declining, in part because only half of the patients know they are infected. If this disturbing trend continues, by 2030 less than 15% of liver-related deaths from HCV will be prevented by antiviral therapy. This study, the first to analyze nationwide practice patterns for HCV treatment, is published in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

HCV is a common blood-borne infection that slowly damages the liver by causing inflammation of liver tissue, which can lead to cirrhosis, chronic liver disease, and liver cancer. In the U.S., HCV is a major public health burden and the leading cause of liver transplantation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 8,000-12,000 deaths occur each year due to HCV. While the incidence of new infections has declined, past studies point to a twofold to fourfold increase in death over the next 20 years due to widespread cases with longstanding infection.

Michael Volk, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues obtained data of new patient prescriptions for pegylated interferon alpha-2a and -2b, sold under the brand names Pegasys and Peg Intron, respectively, and filled between 2002- 2007. Results of the prescription audit showed there were 126,000 new prescriptions for pegylated interferon products in 2002 and by 2007 that figured declined to 83,000 prescriptions. Researchers project fewer than 1.4 million patients would be treated cumulatively with antiviral medication by 2030 if the downward trend continued.

To further understand the decrease in antiviral therapy, researchers investigated treatment decisions using data from the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) Hepatitis C Follow-Up Questionnaire. They discovered that 49% of respondents were previously unaware of their diagnosis and 24% of patients with HCV were not recommended for treatment by their physician. Approximately 9% of those surveyed did not follow up with their doctors regarding their HCV, 8% refused treatment, and only 12% received treatment. "It is concerning that half of all people with hepatitis C in the U.S. are unaware of their diagnosis," said Dr. Volk. "Even with the development of new and better medications on the horizon, such medications will have less than optimal impact unless more patients are diagnosed and referred for treatment."

The study further suggested that barriers to HCV screening may be attributed to lack of health insurance, limited access to standard medical care, and lower priority for testing by primary care doctors. "This is unfortunate," added Dr. Volk, "since young patients who don't go to the doctor often may be the best candidates for antiviral therapy." The authors conclude that increased public health efforts are needed to improve access to antiviral therapy, and recommend further research of health services delivery and quality of care for HCV patients.


Contact: Dawn Peters

Related medicine news :

1. Alarming MRSA Infection Rates Underscore Need for Public Reporting of Hospital-Acquired Infections
2. New Asia Pacific Statistics Reveal an Alarming Incidence of HIV in MSM
3. Astronauts on International Space Station lose alarming amounts of hipbone strength
4. Alarming new data shows TB-HIV co-infection a bigger threat
5. Alarming Rise in Autism Brings Hundreds of Parents, Researchers and Clinicians Together from Around the World to Atlanta April 17-19, 2009
6. Report Finds an Alarming Number of Chronically Ill Patients - Over 93 Percent - Reporting Medical Debt Crisis Issues in 2008 Have Some Form of Insurance
7. Latinos in Chicago and Suburbs Face Alarming Numbers of Cases of Alzheimers Disease While Thousands More are at Risk of Being Diagnosed
8. HDNet World Report Investigates an Alarming String of Murders Committed by Iraq War Veterans
9. Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), San Diego Releases Community Profile Unveiling Alarming Statistics About Breast Cancer in San Diego County
10. Diabetics show alarming increase in morbid obesity
11. Segal Survey Predicts Declines in Trends for Fifth Consecutive Year
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... , ... Key Housing, a top-rated corporate housing service for the San Jose ... Epic. In showcasing this featured apartment community in San Jose, Key Housing is helping ... efficiently find housing suitable to their needs by showcasing quality housing. , “San Jose ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Trying to relax on a ... COUCH BUDDY. "I conceived of this design due to personal experience with a bad ... It promotes relaxation and convenience, as well as increases support. It also makes it ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... There is only one major question facing all law firms in the ... has not been an easy question to answer. Especially when the senior partners and ... don’t share the same discipline around working long hours. , In addition to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... the way that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks ... in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... a safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he ... effective way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... --> The purpose of this report is ... global advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... --> --> ... analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: