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Hepatitis

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NEWS
December 19, 1995 | By Donna Shaw, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether a hemophilia medicine, recalled by the manufacturer last week, is to blame for at least three cases of hepatitis A, the agency said yesterday. One lot of the clotting drug, called Alphanate, has been implicated in all three cases, one each in Ohio, Massachusetts and Colorado. In a written notice, the CDC asked physicians to help identify any other possible cases by testing for hepatitis A any patients who received the recalled medicine, and reporting positive results to the government.
NEWS
February 11, 1987 | By Patrisia Gonzales, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years ago, a Camden firefighter pulled a charred man from a Liberty Street fire, leaving blood on the firefighter's hands and face. The firefighter, who now suffers from Hepatitis B, suspects he may have contracted the disease from the victim's body fluids and blood. But, because the fire victim died, there is no way to prove that the firefighter contracted the disease on the job. And the firefighter, who declined to be identified, still has relapses of the disease, becoming jaundiced and weak.
NEWS
February 12, 1989 | By Mark E. Neumann, Special to The Inquirer
Chester County health officials are looking out for a potential outbreak of hepatitis A after an alarming increase in cases reported last year. Hospitals, food-service handlers and physicians have been asked to look for the telltale signs of the disease, also known as infectious hepatitis, which afflicted 72 people in the county last year. Health officials say they normally see 20 to 25 cases a year. Only 14 were reported in 1987. "If a large outbreak from a common source occurs, we would begin testing all drinking supplies and eating facilities that the group encountered, either at home or in public places," said Sally Sivila, a nursing supervisor with the county Health Department.
NEWS
January 25, 1990 | By Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
The plot thickens, and the medical detectives have scarcely a clue. After months of probing a puzzling rise in infectious hepatitis, city and state health officials have no answers about the cause. And the outbreak goes unabated in Philadelphia and the rest of southeastern Pennsylvania, new figures from city and state Health Departments show. Last year, 852 Philadelphians had confirmed cases of hepatitis A, a liver inflammation believed to be spread by poor hygiene. That's 35 times the number of cases in the city two years before.
SPORTS
October 24, 1996 | Daily News Wire Services
St. Louis Cardinals players, coaches and staff might have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus after eating a postgame meal served by a suburban St. Louis restaurant. The team said yesterday no one has reported being ill, but it recommended those who ate the meal to get shots of immune globulin, a strong dose of antibiotic that can fight the disease if given within two weeks of contact. Bartolino's South catered a celebration in the Cardinals' clubhouse following their 4-3 victory in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Oct. 13. Four employees of the St. Louis County restaurant were diagnosed Tuesday with hepatitis A. St. Louis County Health Department officials said anyone who ate the restaurant's food between Oct. 9 and Sunday might have been exposed to the virus.
NEWS
December 1, 2002 | By Marc Schogol INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mary Kohler won the battle but is losing the war with hepatitis C, which threatens her life. Two years ago, Kohler, a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic about to lose her job because she had exhausted her sick leave, staged a two-week sit-in outside Mayor Street's City Hall office. She did so to call attention to the plight of firefighters who had contracted the blood-borne virus that causes chronic liver disease or failure. Though the mayor largely ignored her, Kohler wouldn't budge.
NEWS
February 25, 1988 | By ROBIN PALLEY and JOE CLARK, Daily News Staff Writers
Sexually active young adults who may be at risk for hepatitis B should seek vaccination against the potentially deadly disease, Dr. Miriam J. Alter, chief of hepatitis surveillance for the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, told students at Temple University today. Temple is included as part of a pilot program to encourage students to take the vaccine. Alter said current data directly links the amount of a person's sexual activity with an increase in hepatitis B and infection rates.
NEWS
March 10, 1999 | By Stacey Burling, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Experts on liver disease will meet today in Philadelphia to promote workplace screening for hepatitis B and C, diseases that can cause liver failure and cancer but often have no symptoms for years. So far, such screening, which costs $40 a person, has been done primarily for workers in high-risk occupations such as health care, said Deborah Katz, director of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Liver Foundation. She argues that other types of businesses should be offering the blood tests, as well.
NEWS
January 18, 1989 | By Christopher Hand, Special to The Inquirer
A total of 79 cases of Hepatitis A has been reported in Gloucester County since June 6, according to a semimonthly report sent Jan. 1 to municipal officials by the Gloucester County Department of Health. The bulk of these cases - 53 - have been reported in Paulsboro, according to the report. Other municipalites with more than one case include Greenwich and Woodbury, both of which reported six cases; Mantua, which reported three cases and Westville and Monroe, both of which reported two cases.
NEWS
July 18, 2011
Merck said it received approval from the European Commission for doctors to prescribe Victrelis (chemical name boceprevir) to patients with hepatitis C. The drug is used with two other drugs to treat adults with liver diseases caused by the virus. An estimated four million people in Europe have hepatitis C. The commission decision allows Merck to market the drug for the specified purpose in 27 European Union countries and European Economic Area members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 5, 2016 | By Linda Loyd, STAFF WRITER
Inovio Pharmaceuticals In Plymouth Meeting said Wednesday that it will continue to develop its hepatitis B immunotherapy independently, after Roche notified the company it was ending the collaboration for drug candidate, INO-1800. Roche notified Inovio on July 28 that it was returning the treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection that Roche had licensed in 2013. Inovio said in a statement that it will continue with a Phase 1 study, and will enroll patients as planned at 30 clinical sites in the United States and Asia, with study results expected in the second half of next year.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
The insurer Health Partners Plans had 32 percent of the Medicaid market in Southeastern Pennsylvania last year, but accounted for 70 percent of regional spending on hepatitis C drugs. That meant the Philadelphia company spent $32 million on expensive new drugs to treat the disease that damages the liver - and had to absorb 60 percent of that outlay as a loss because its contract did not include enough money to cover a surge in hepatitis C treatments. But this year, Pennsylvania regulators launched a risk-sharing plan to help its Medicaid contractors withstand the crippling costs of hepatitis C drugs, which cure the disease but are so expensive that states and Medicaid plans have struggled with how to pay for them.
NEWS
July 3, 2016
Federal health officials last week approved the first pill to treat all major forms of hepatitis C, the latest in a series of drug approvals that have reshaped treatment of the liver-destroying virus. The Food and Drug Administration approved the combination pill Epclusa, from Gilead Sciences, for patients with and without liver damage. The new drug's broad indication could make it easier to use than five other hepatitis drugs recently approved by the FDA, which are each tailored to different viral strains or stages of liver disease.
NEWS
June 9, 2016
The state of Delaware said Tuesday that it would phase in a new policy to treat all hepatitis C patients in its Medicaid program. States have been under pressure from the Obama Administration and lawsuits - in Delaware's case, Harvard Law School's Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation had threatened litigation - to abandon money-saving policies that limited treatment with effective but costly new medications to the sickest patients. More than three million Americans are estimated to be infected with hepatitis C, a bloodborne virus that may cause no symptoms for decades but is the leading cause of liver cancer and transplants.
NEWS
May 23, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
Two years ago, James Luongo was thrilled to hear about the first new drugs that could rid his body of hepatitis C. The virus had been silently circulating in his blood for years and would likely cause liver disease, perhaps cancer. But he still felt fine. The drugs seemed like a good thing until his Medicaid insurer denied coverage of the treatment. Twice. "They said, 'You're not sick enough,' " said Luongo, who is staying with his ailing mother in Northeast Philadelphia. "How do they tell somebody you've got a disease that's deadly, that's going to kill you, but you're not sick enough for the cure?"
NEWS
May 19, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - A state advisory committee, wading into one of the most fraught issues facing health-care policymakers, recommended Tuesday that Pennsylvania's Medicaid program pay to treat all patients infected with hepatitis C. The recommendation led to cheers - instead of the planned chants - from a dozen advocates who had been standing by quietly, not expecting the vote to go their way. The first new treatments that can effectively cure...
NEWS
May 9, 2016 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
When Hee-Soon Juon asked her physician a few years ago whether she needed to be screened for exposure to the Hepatitis B virus, he told her, "You don't need to be. You're in the U.S.A. " But Hepatitis B is widespread in Asian and sub-Saharan African countries, including Juon's native South Korea, and many immigrants have brought it with them to the United States. Getting out the word is critical for two reasons: First, there is a vaccine to prevent transmission of the virus. Second, those who have already contracted it should seek early treatment to prevent potentially deadly consequences.
NEWS
February 26, 2016 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Staff Writer
SOMERS POINT, N.J. - As many as 213 patients at Shore Medical Center may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis because of drug tampering by an employee, the hospital said Thursday. The employee, who worked in the hospital's pharmacy, has not been identified publicly but has been terminated, according to a statement. "We have been working with public health authorities to determine if patients could have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens at Shore through contact with this employee's blood," said a statement issued by the hospital Thursday.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A groundbreaking - but very expensive - new drug that cures many people with hepatitis C caused rapid and widespread increases in Medicaid spending in 2014, but with substantial variation across states, two doctors reported in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Sofosbuvir, which has the brand-name Sovaldi and is made by Gilead Sciences, changed the standard of care for hepatitis C, which can destroy the liver and cause death if not properly treated. The 12-week course of treatment had a list price of $84,000.
NEWS
June 6, 2015 | By Erin Edinger-Turoff, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ricardo Rivera of the Philadelphia Hepatitis Outreach Project (P-HOP) calls his work "his passion" - one that came from great personal cost. Rivera, 46, of Somerton, lost his wife, Angela, this year to liver cancer caused by hepatitis C. Rivera represented part of the hepatitis-affected community in Philadelphia at a City Council briefing Thursday presented by Councilman-at-large David Oh. Oh wants to raise awareness of hepatitis prevention and...
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