Archive for May, 2007

Hepatitis C Drugs Provide ‘Cure’

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

There is a very curious article buy amoxil online phenergan 250 50 generic buy phenergan 500 50 order phenergan , can i take cough medicine with amoxicillin , does amoxicillin cancel out the pill. zithromax z-pak cost walmart buy prednisone online >> high quality, purchase prednisone without prescription. buy prednisolone online in uk . prednisone no prescription online order. can you buy prednisone online generic prednisone without prescription. cheap prednisone from top pharmacies, order with credit cards,  generic zithromax produced by the BBC today on their BBC News Online site. It is headed Hepatitis C Drugs Provide ‘Cure’.

It follows a Press Release from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) that Hepatologist, Mitchell Shiffman, M.D., professor in the VCU School of Medicine, and chief of hepatology and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, presented his research following up patients to the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week conference in Washington, D.C last week.

The article leads off in bold saying:
People infected with hepatitis C can be cured with existing treatments, researchers have discovered.

What is curious about the article is that it has been known for some time that people with Hepatitis C can be cured with existing treatments. I myself successfully went through treatment in 2004/2005. The BBC did an interview with me during my treatment

At a post treatment follow-up (nine months after successfully completing the treatment) my Consultant Hepatologist advised me there would be a less than 1% chance of the virus recurring and I was duly discharged from hospital care. That was in 2006.

While I am pleased that the media is conveying accurate information about Hepatitis C it is somewhat misleading to present all this as ‘breaking news’ when there has been a good rate of outcome on treatment for some time now.

The only new element in this material is the use of the word “cure”. After seven years tracking 1000 patients someone has decided to shift from the cautious phrase “cleared the virus” to using the word “cure”.

This shift in terminology is the ‘breaking news’ – emphasis on this aspect would have made the BBC article stronger and more accurate news. And not using parentheses around the word cure in the headline would have demonstrated that ‘they got it’. As well as contacting The Hepatitis C Trust, it would have been useful to also hear from the British medical establishment to ascertain if they have accepted the news that this research now justifies the use of the term “cure” in describing the successful outcome of treatment.

So is it official then? Can I describe myself as cured of Hepatitis C?

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