The treatment fact sheets are now incorporated into the HCV Medications Blog. You can view the new blog here.
Adherence to HCV Therapy
Adherence to HCV therapy is one of the most important predictors of successful HCV treatment. While there are well-defined and established guidelines for some disease states such as HIV, hypertension, and others, it is less clear when it comes to adherence for HCV therapy. The basic take-home message is that people on HCV therapy should strive to take as close to 100% of the medications, 100% of the time or as close to 100% as possible.
Treatment Response Terms
The HCV RNA (viral load) test is given to confirm active infection with hepatitis C (HCV). HCV RNA levels are also measured before HCV treatment, during therapy and after HCV therapy. Listed below are definitions for various terms used to guide HCV treatment. The majority of measurements apply to treatment of HCV genotype 1 during treatment to guide the duration of treatment and to find out whether someone should stop treatment to prevent drug resistance and futility.
Patient Assistance Programs
Many Americans do not have insurance and/or prescription coverage for healthcare services. In addition, some Americans have insurance coverage that has high deductibles. For these reasons people are in need of free or low-cost medicines. In order to provide free or low-cost medicines to those who qualify, patient assistance programs have been created by the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to these services some pharmaceutical companies will work with patients to see if the prescription for their drug is covered by the patient’s insurance company or other drug plans.
Prescription Drugs – Off-label Use
Medications that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) go through a vigorous clinical development process to find out if the drug is safe and effective in treating a specific condition. The pharmaceutical company will compile the data from one or more Phase 3 studies and submit it to the FDA. If the medications are approved the pharmaceutical company will develop a package label that is used by medical providers. The package label is also called the prescribing information.
Reporting Drug Side Effects
Prior to the release of a new medication, clinical studies are conducted that ‘test’ a drug for safety, side effects, effectiveness and other important issues before marketing approval. Safety is given the highest priority when testing a new drug. Nevertheless, sometimes drugs slip through the cracks, and the results can be life-threatening.