AASLD LIVER MEETING 2017
The Liver Meeting is noted for concentrating on many issues related to the liver. Lucinda Porter, RN and I are focused on abstracts about hepatitis C. This year was a notable year similar to the Liver Meeting in 2002. Data on Boehringer Ingelheim’s ciluprevir (BILN 2061), a hepatitis C (HCV) protease inhibitor, was presented on the first direct-acting antiviral medication to treat HCV. I was in the audience at the presentation and you could hear gasps from the attendees as the authors presented the information. That year was quite a moment in the history of HCV.
It turned out that BILN 2061 was not an effective treatment for HCV but it was a watershed moment because it was the first direct-antiviral drug developed as a potential treatment of HCV. This year’s conference was also a watershed moment but more of that later.
Abstract # 1017: Hepatitis C Screening Rates in a Large US Insured Population, 2010-2016: Slow Progress Among Baby Boomers—R. Wong, et al.
In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a recommendation for a one-time test for hepatitis C (HCV) for people born 1945 – 1965 and for people at risk for HCV. People who were born between 1945 to1965 account for 75% of the population in the United States with HCV.
The study was undertaken to understand the number of baby boomers tested for HCV. The authors examined real-world screening rates between 2010 and 2016 in a large population of insured adults using commercial and Medicare Advantage insurance claims.
Conclusion: In this study, the screening rate was 18%. That leaves 82% of the birth cohort not being screened.
Editorial Comments: We need additional strategies to reach the 82% of the unidentified HCV baby boomer population. How can we eliminate HCV with this many people with HCV untested? What about the convergence of HCV and the opioid epidemic that we haven’t even addressed? AND many experts believe that the real number of people with HCV is much higher than the quoted numbers—as many as 5 million Americans.
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Alan Franciscus is the Executive Director of the Hepatitis C Support Project and the Editor-in-Chief of the HCV Advocate Website.Share This Page