Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin 6 March, 2012

Welcome to the next edition of Hepatitis Scotland's eBulletin.

The Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin can be an opportunity to share views, experiences, and knowledge through our Scotland and sector-wide contact list, with the potential to enhance and enrich understanding on a diverse range of issues. If you have any successful projects, local research or insights about other recent research, innovative ideas, local events or would simply like to express your views, why not put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and forward it to us at leon@hepatitisscotland.org.uk and we’ll consider it for inclusion in the e-Bulletin.

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Local events


 C U, C Me, C Hep C

Glasgow North West Drama group return to the stage at Maryhill on the 9th March at 7pm with their acclaimed production of C U, C Me, C Hep C. For your FREE ticket please call Gordon on 0141 3322520 or email gpeacock@c-level.org.uk. You can read a review here and the poster is here.

The group will also be appearing at an event presented by the patient support group CForth in Forth Valley on the 16th March.

Expressive Arts Studio 16 March – Buffet served @ 6pm
To book your FREE ticket contact:

Petra @ 0131 777 0989 OR 07742 407839


Fife BBV Network Conference,

‘Developing the Network; Bridging the Gaps’
22 March 2012 - Strathearn Hotel, 2 Wishart Place, Kirkcaldy, KY1 2AS
10.30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (registration from 10 a.m.)

The conference is open to all members of the community and professionals.
Please register by email before the closing date of 24 February giving your full name, job title (if applicable), address and telephone number to m.grzywa@addaction.org.uk or telephone 01382 206888 on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.



UK guidelines for using protease inhibitors in HCV

Published in the March edition of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics,  these guidelines for the use of boceprevir and telaprevir have been formulated following extensive review of the current literature and are based on the consensus opinion of a panel of national experts. They have been openly discussed and debated at a national meeting of HCV care providers.



Beta the Blues: New research on Interferon

New research has shown that natural human interferon beta could potentially be an alternative treatment option for those who suffer from depression caused by the use of Pegylated Interferon Alfa.  Several small studies conducted in Asia appeared to indicate it is safe, well tolerated and is less likely to induce depression than peg-Inteferon. There was no evidence it worsened existing depression.  Some positive SVR results were attained using interferon beta alone as well as in combination with Ribavarin. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22176275 - regarding beta interferon and depression.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18981624 - study in Japan suggesting that treatment with interferon beta is safe, well tolerated and may offer a suitable alternative treatment to those who are unable to cope with PEG INT Alfa. 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18080763 - regarding safety and tolerance to interferon beta
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21963723 - more on interferon beta and the effect on depression.



Path B: A roadmap through Hepatitis B

Path B is an interactive hepatitis B toolkit accessed through the website www.hepatitisinfo.org .

It provides a step by step roadmap through hepatitis B testing, diagnosis, treatment and managing a long term condition; as well as various resources including factsheets, a patient diary, wellness tips, frequently asked questions and references. 

Path B (Patients and Professionals Acting Together for Hepatitis B) is an educational programme which provides information and understanding on chronic hepatitis B as well resources to help people manage their condition.  It has been developed by an international group that includes patient advocacy representatives and clinicians.  Funded and organised by Bristol Myers Squib, it is provided by the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) and the World Hepatitis Alliance.  It was developed in partnership with The British Liver Trust, The Catalan Association of Hepatitis Patients (ASSCAT), the Chinese Healthy Living Association, EpaC (Italy), SOS Hepatites (France) and Deutsche Leberhilfe (Germany). 



HCV/HIV Drug Interactions – FDA update

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued updated recommendations on drug to drug interactions between Protease Inhibitors used to treat HIV and Hepatitis C and certain cholesterol reducing drugs known as statins.



Hepatitis C killing more Americans than HIV

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States recently reported that Hepatitis C is now killing more Americans than HIV.  It is estimated more than 3.2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C compared with 1.1 million who are HIV positive.  The study, published by the Centre for Disease Control,  shows that in 2007 there were approximately 15,000 deaths related to hepatitis C compared with around 13,000 deaths related to HIV. 

Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) are most at risk with two thirds of all hepatitis C cases in the US to be found in this group.  This had led to calls for a change to testing guidelines and a one-time blood test for people in this age group – especially with the advent of new protease inhibitors which have been shown to have much greater success rates of clearing the virus. A study published by Stanford University suggests that triple therapy treatments using new protease inhibitors would be more cost effective than liver transplants which can cost around U.S. $100,000. 

Another study published by the CDC used a model which indicated that testing Baby Boomers for hepatitis C could save 85,000 lives.

This news comes only 2 months after Congress reinstated a ban on Federal funding for needle exchange programmes (domestically and internationally).



Drugs Misuse Statistics Scotland 2011

Drugs Misuse Information Scotland have published the 2011 edition of Drugs Misuse Statistics in Scotland. This is an annual compendium presenting the latest available information from a range of national data sources relevant to drug misuse.


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