hepatitis c

The Pulse
11:39 am
Fri November 21, 2014

At The Crossroads: How Will Medicare Grapple With Hep C?

My recent story about the high cost of new hepatitis C treatments focused on the difficulty of deciding who gets these new drugs now and who has to wait. That's because, while new drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni (both made by Gilead) promise to cure a lot of people, they're so expensive we simply couldn't afford to treat everyone who's infected right now.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 4: New Hep C Drugs Promise A Cure, For A Big Price

The FDA has approved dozens of so-called specialty drugs recently. Most are costlier than standard treatments, and most target a relatively small patient population suffering from a rare condition. But hepatitis C is far from rare.
Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Since then, people with hepatitis C have had limited – and not very effective – options for treatment.

Until now.

Revolutionary new treatments have hit the market in just the last few months. But they’re so expensive health insurers are balking at the price.

Part four of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop it” looks at the high cost of these new treatments and who’s paying for them.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Wed November 12, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 3: As Old Hepatitis C Treatment Fades Out, New Treatments Stoke Hope

Source: Brandon Marshall, Brown University School of Public Health and RI Defeats Hep C.
Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

In just a few weeks, another pharmaceutical company will likely win FDA approval for a new drug to cure hepatitis C. That makes three breakthrough medications hitting the market in less than a year. It’s big news for the estimated twenty thousand Rhode Islanders – and many more throughout New England -  living with chronic hepatitis C. Because some have been waiting decades for a cure.

Next in our series “At The Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop it,” why one man waited so long for treatment.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 2: Finding Hep C Infections Before It's Too Late

Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, nearly 20-thousand Rhode Islanders among them. And most of them don’t know it. But many are about to find out. It takes about 20 years for most people to notice any symptoms from hepatitis C, and it was about that long ago most people got infected. Now doctors in Rhode Island and throughout the country are noticing a wave of patients with the kind of advanced liver disease hepatitis C can cause.                                                                               

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Health Care
9:19 am
Wed October 29, 2014

New Hepatitis C Drugs May Push State Over Budget

Providing medical assistance to low income Rhode Islanders will cost the state more than projected. One of the major factors behind the increase is the cost of two new drugs.                   

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The Pulse
10:30 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Opioid Addiction Crisis Fuels Another: Hep C

Addiction usually leaves a wake of chaos, and all kinds of casualties - marriages, jobs, health. Most tragically, the current crisis of opioid addiction (to prescription painkillers and heroin) in Rhode Island has cost too many lives. Well over 160 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental opioid overdoses so far this year. Hundreds more might have joined them had it not been for the rescue drug naloxone.

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Local Features
6:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 1: A Tale Of Two Epidemics

Note: This estimate includes people not typically counted by national health surveys. The CDC estimates about 3 million Americans are infected but doesn't include people who are incarcerated, on active military duty, or in nursing homes.
Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

One infectious disease – Ebola – is dominating the headlines now. But there’s another that affects far more people around the world, including here in the U.S.

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The Pulse
3:05 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

RI Medicaid Issues New Hepatitis C Drug Policy

This pill can cost as much as $1000. Each.
Credit Gilead

Rhode Island’s Medicaid program has quietly posted its first guidelines for approving coverage of a new drug for chronic hepatitis C.

If you are enrolled in Medicaid, have hepatitis C, and you’ve been waiting for these new drugs, you might be jumping for joy.

If you’re not, you might be asking, ‘huh?’ or ‘who cares?’

Here’s what this means and why it matters – whether you have hepatitis C or not.

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The Pulse
12:55 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

On World Hepatitis Day, An Invitation

Baby boomers are five times as likely to have chronic hepatitis C as any other age group. That's why the CDC launched a public health campaign to encourage boomers to get screened for the disease. And so, in honor of World Hepatitis Day, I invite---no, I encourage--boomers to get tested for hepatitis C. Why C and not the others? Because we've got effective vaccines for hepatitis A and B, but not for hepatitis C. So let's focus on that one. More information for boomers, below.

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Health Care
5:30 am
Fri July 25, 2014

WaterFire Lighting Spotlights Hepatitis C

This Saturday, WaterFire Providence is dedicated to raising awareness about hepatitis C. Organizers are offering free hepatitis C screenings at the event.

WaterFire volunteers will light more than eighty bonfires along the downtown river on Saturday night. A group called Rhode Island Defeats Hep C, led by Dr. Lynn Taylor, organized the lighting.

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