Week Ending January 31, 2022

Virginia and Alaska Improve Access to Hepatitis C Treatment for Medicaid Patients
“The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) today recognize the Virginia and Alaska state Medicaid programs for removing prior authorization requirements for hepatitis C treatment, effective in each state as of January 2022. Virginia and Alaska become the tenth and eleventh states in the country to remove prior authorizations for hepatitis C treatment for most patients, joining a growing number of states to increase access for Medicaid recipients.”

More Syringe Exchanges Can Open in New Jersey, Thanks to a New Law
“Harm reduction advocates in New Jersey scored three wins this month when Governor Phil Murphy signed three related bills into law. The new legislation will allow more syringe exchange programs to open, decriminalize the possession of syringes and create a review panel to look at overdoses, reports NJ.com.”

Global Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Is High
“Reports published by the World Health Organization have estimated that more than 3% of the global population has an HCV infection. To remedy the lack of general statistics on HCV infection worldwide, an international team of researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of HCV infection and a statistical analysis of results of general statistical studies on the prevalence of HCV in the global population.”

Out-of-Pocket Spending Remains High for Chronic Hepatitis B Treatments
“While in some ways to the cost to treat chronic hepatitis B (CHB) has been reduced in recent years, out-of-pocket costs remain high and burdensome for some patients.”

Determining the risk of liver cancer after recovery from hepatitis C infection
“An analysis was carried out on a cohort of 1,000 patients from 11 Andalusian hospitals. The project underscores the need for personalized medicine and individual evaluation of patients with hepatitis C, even after recovering from this infection.”

Hepatitis C is a growing threat to moms and babies. But screening is inadequate.
“During her third pregnancy, Jamie Smith was itchy. Crazy itchy. Her obstetrician diagnosed her with cholestasis of pregnancy, a serious complication associated with liver disease. Her baby was at risk for being premature or even stillborn, so she was induced at 38 weeks.”