May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month. Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue (source).
There are five types of hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E), but today we are going to focus on Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. It results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.” An estimated 3.5 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. An estimated 75-85% of acute cases will become chronic (source).
PharMedQuest works with Hep C patients through our ACE pharmacy services program. With ACE, we focus on the core three tenants of Attention, Care and Empowerment improving both the quality of care and patient satisfaction. To help you better understand this condition, we have included seven key facts from the World Health Organization on Hepatitis C (source).
- Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
- The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through unsafe injection practices; inadequate sterilization of medical equipment; and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
- 130–150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection.
- A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- Approximately 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases.
- Antiviral medicines can cure approximately 90% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
- There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.
You can read more about our ACE program here as well as look at a listing of PharMedQuest pharmacies in Southern California that provide these services.
PharMedQuest is a national leader in providing proven cost-effective solutions to some of the most challenging issues in healthcare. We are dedicated to providing transparent and innovative drug management solutions that optimize the clinical, operational and financial complexities of medical specialty drug management for cancer and other complex and rare diseases.
With over 20 years of Experience, PharMedQuest delivers Insight and Value to its Clients through its services, which include holistic Medical Benefit drug management, real-time access to integrated drug utilization and financial metrics and intelligence, comprehensive 340B management, and many other integrated Pharmacy and Medical solutions that go beyond traditional PBM, Specialty Pharmacy, or Utilization Management tools. For more information about PharMedQuest services, call (714) 364-4008 or visit us at http://www.PharMedQuest.com.