New York Times Examines Hepatitis C Epidemic, Search for Treatment
The New York Times on Tuesday examined the state of the hepatitis C epidemic in the United States and worldwide. Although the number of hepatitis C cases has declined 80% since the virus was identified in 1988, approximately 10,000 people in the United States die each year from complications associated with the virus. In addition, researchers expect the number of hepatitis C-related deaths to triple by 2010 if new treatment options are not developed. Current hepatitis C therapies -- which are primarily aimed at preventing progressive liver disease -- are expensive, can lead to "devastating" side effects and are effective in only slightly more than half of all patients, according to the Times. However, several new treatments are currently being studied that could "cur[e] or ... rende[r] virtually harmless" the virus, according to the Times (Brody, New York Times, 10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.