• Medicaid Denies Almost 50% of Prescriptions for Hepatitis C Drugs in 4 States

Medicaid Denies Almost 50% of Prescriptions for Hepatitis C Drugs in 4 States

Medicaid programs in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania denied nearly half of all claims in the past year for direct-acting antiviral (DAA) hepatitis C drugs, according to an analysis of pharmacy data presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2015 Liver Meeting. The finding confirms

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  • What is the Best Treatment for Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis?

What is the Best Treatment for Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Corticosteroids, alone or in combination with pentoxifylline or N-acetylcysteine (NAC), reduce short-term mortality in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis, a meta-analysis shows in the October issue of Gastroenterology. However, there is no treatment to reduce medium-term mortality, the authors find. Severe alcoholic hepatitis is characterized by progressive inflammatory injury to hepatocytes and

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  • Public Health Officials Call for Wider Access to HCV Drugs

Public Health Officials Call for Wider Access to HCV Drugs

Experts from the Public Health Service and President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS are calling on federal and state Medicaid officials to widen access to prescription drugs that could cure tens of thousands of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. They say restrictions on the drugs imposed by many

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  • Can we Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients with Cirrhosis?

Can we Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients with Cirrhosis?

L-carnitine appears to be safe and effective for reducing muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis, researchers report in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Many patients with cirrhosis develop frequent muscle cramps, which reduce their quality of life. L-carnitine (L-beta-hydroxy-gamma-N-trimethyl aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that transports

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  • What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

Hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis are increasing in prevalence, and can progress to histologically identical, more severe liver disease. They are associated with 3 main factors: alcohol, obesity or metabolic syndrome, and exposure to toxins. Researchers review the similarities, differences, and pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol-associated steatohepatitis (ASH), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and toxicant-associated fatty liver

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  • How Many Patients are Screened for HBV Infection Before Chemotherapy?

How Many Patients are Screened for HBV Infection Before Chemotherapy?

Only a small percentage of patients receiving chemotherapy are screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, although the proportion of patients screened has increased slightly over the past decade, researchers report in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Strategies are needed to ensure that patients receiving chemotherapy are

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  • Does FibroScan Accurately Assess Liver Fibrosis?

Does FibroScan Accurately Assess Liver Fibrosis?

Vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE) with FibroScan can provide an accurate assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis, but operator-related and patient-related factors affect measurements, report 2 articles published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The lowest levels of variation occur in patients with no

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  • Hepatitis C Drugs Might be Cost Effective but Demand Could Bust the Healthcare Bank

Hepatitis C Drugs Might be Cost Effective but Demand Could Bust the Healthcare Bank

Treating patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection using recently approved direct-acting agents can be cost effective, but will also have substantial effects on healthcare costs, researchers show. Recently approved drugs cure more than 90% of patients with hepatitis C and could make the liver disease rare in the United

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  • Restoring Immune Regulation to Patients With Alcoholic Hepatitis

Restoring Immune Regulation to Patients With Alcoholic Hepatitis

Patients with alcoholic hepatitis have dysfunctional T-cell and natural killer cell responses that lead to overwhelming bacterial infections. Researchers report in the March issue of Gastroenterology that the immune impairment is mediated by endotoxin-induced over-expression of proteins called programmed cell death 1 (PD1) and mucin domain–containing protein 3 (TIM3), which suppress the immune

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  • An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

A long-term study of a hepatitis E virus (HEV) vaccine showed that it is 86.8% effective and that immunity can last for up to 4.5 years. In a blinded, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, Jun Zhang et al randomly assigned 112,604 healthy adults in Dongtai (in the Jiangsu province of China)

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