Navigation Links
Baby Boomers Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C
Date:6/24/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) applauds the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) decision of June 24, 2013 giving a "B" rating for testing baby boomers for hepatitis C virus. This seemingly small change -- from a "C" to a "B" -- in the USPSTF rating signals an incredible change in the lives of patients who have HCV and are unaware of it. A "B" rating allows for payment by Medicare and private insurers for testing with no copayment by patients.

More than 75 percent of the estimated 3 million US citizens with HCV are baby boomers. This new USPSTF "B" rating for HCV testing of baby boomers matches its rating for HCV testing among injection drug users and others at high risk.  

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended an age-based screening strategy that required a one-time test for everyone born between 1945 and 1965. The USPSTF had initially recommended a "C" rating for this birth cohort in a draft proposal, conflicting with the CDC recommendation and creating confusion in the primary care community. The change from a "C" to a "B" rating gives primary care clinicians the absolute clarity of the hepatology community -- early detection of HCV allows for the drastically greater possibility of treatment success for patients.

HCV is usually an asymptomatic disease, and three out of four of those afflicted are unaware of their infection until their liver disease is far advanced. To allow the disease to progress to the point where a patient is showing symptoms greatly increases the danger of the disease, decreases our abilities to treat these patients, and often results in the development of liver cancer, frequently requiring liver transplantation -- at best. Liver cancer is one of the few cancers increasing in frequency and has one of the highest mortality rates. The ability of a patient to be tested and treated for HCV at the earliest possible date allows him or her to avoid the disease's progression to liver cancer.

Liver transplantation is an expensive procedure and testing for HCV with subsequent treatment is expected to decrease the number of patients who would otherwise require transplantation and provides a significant financial savings to the nation's healthcare system. It is worthy of note that these recommendations come at a time when the treatments for hepatitis C are becoming both more effective and easier to tolerate.  The other savings is even greater -- decreasing the number of patients requiring and waiting for a liver transplantation equals saving lives. The number of livers available does not match the number of patients who currently require a transplantation, which means that patients die while on the waiting list. In 2012, there were 6,256 liver transplantations performed. As of June 7, 2013, there are 16,484 patients waiting for a suitable organ.

The CDC recommended one-time age-based screening allowing for early detection of HCV reduces the chance of progression to liver cancer, and decreases the number of patients requiring a liver transplantation. The new "B" rating by the USPSTF means that a large number of patients can be tested and successfully treated with new direct-acting antiviral drugs that have allowed the medical community to cure HCV. Ten years ago, we were not able to cure patients of HCV, but research in liver disease has led to these new drugs. Treatment is still difficult and expensive, but it is constantly improving, and we anticipate the FDA to approve numerous new drugs over the next three to five years. New drugs currently in the pipeline will allow us to increase the cure rate and decrease treatment side effects. 

AASLD is a subspecialty society representing clinicians and researchers in liver disease. The work of our members has laid the foundation for the development of drugs used to treat patients with HCV. Our members are on the frontline of treating and curing these patients. This decision by the USPSTF helps us help patients.

AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD was founded in 1950 by a small group of leading liver specialists and has grown to an international society responsible for all aspects of hepatology.

Press releases and additional information about AASLD are available online at www.aasld.org.

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
703/299-9766
gbologna@aasld.org 

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.XpressPress.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Global Market for Medical Imaging Equipment to Reach $25.3 Billion as Retiring Boomers and Emerging Markets Demand Better Healthcare
2. Sounds Like The Mesh Should Come Out!
3. European Orthopedic Market 2017 Forecasts: Hip, Knee & Shoulder Analysis in New Research Report at ReportsnReports.com
4. Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stockholders Seeking More Money, Information in Buyout Should Contact Deans & Lyons Law Firm
5. Men Who Want to Stay Active, Feel Younger, and Remain Socially and Professionally Engaged Should Address Hearing Loss, BHI Advises
6. 40 percent of parents give young kids cough/cold medicine that they shouldnt
7. Physician Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: CMS Quality Measures Should Include Continuous Electronic Monitoring of Patients Using Patient-Controlled Analgesia
8. Home Affairs Committees Drugs Report: Angelus Foundation Says the Prime Minister Should Not Have Rejected a Royal Commission
9. What Men Should Know About Prostate Cancer -- But Dont
10. Cost vs. Reality - What CT Scanner Should I Choose?
11. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Publishes PeriGen Research on Shoulder Dystocia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/7/2017)... , Sept. 7, 2017 NuvoAir (formerly ... Spirometer, announced today a partnership with Novartis Pharma AG to ... NuvoAir,s position as the leading mobile spirometry platform and Novartis, ... ... ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... PDI , a leader in infection prevention products and ... focused on the role of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in ... Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association for Vascular Access. ... Phoenix Convention Center in ... feature PDI,s Prevantics® Device Swab as the ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... 2017  Getinge, a leading global provider of ... donation program -- "Color for the Kids!" -- ... research by The Children,s Heart Foundation. Pediatric patients ... are encouraged to download a coloring picture at ... to the gallery on the website. For each ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... “Finn Mouseson”: follows the exciting story of a mouse as the need ... on a journey that will show that friends are to be gathered but home ... and illustrator, Melody Gersonde-Mickelson, who has earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “Psalms of Humidity”: is a fascinating depiction of ... the readers one step closer to God. “Psalms of Humidity” is the creation of ... have been made within his life are the very same things that have shaped ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... “They Sang At Her Funeral”: a tale of murder ... the skeletons in their closets. “They Sang At Her Funeral” is the creation of ... and married with five children and twelve grandchildren. Before becoming a writer, Annalise had ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Only a few physicians were selected ... own Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS . The founder and medical director of ... Reconstructive Surgeon who trained at Yale, Harvard and the University of Michigan. He has ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Trusted debt-reduction firm CreditAssociates, LLC has announced two important ... excess of $835 million in resolved debt for its clients. , Credit card debt, ... the categories of debt settled by the company. With more than a decade of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):