Hepatitis C

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The cost of treating hepatitis C has dropped some in the past year or so. But price – drugs can list around 100,000 for a course – is still a barrier and can put a big burden on insurance programs like Medicaid, which has to make tough decisions about who qualifies for the lifesaving drugs.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear the conclusion to 20-year-old Kyra Soleil-Dawe’s story as part of our Struggle to Stay series. Yesterday, we heard that Kyra’s theater group, Whiskey Shine and Pantomime Productions, opened its third production to the public - William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Now, as we step back into Kyra’s story, we will hear more about Kyra’s family, and what a piece of sudden news will mean for Kyra’s Struggle to Stay.

We also hear more from Appalachia Health News about the effort to diagnose and treat hepatitis C.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate lives throughout Appalachia, health officials are reporting a spike in “second wave” epidemics like Hepatitis C. One way to combat the epidemic may be more needle exchange programs like the one at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Once a month, Jeff Crist, an employee of the free clinic West Virginia Health Right, goes there to gently waylay participants as they walk in.

“Would you like to get tested for hep. C today?” he asks patients over and over again.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the opioid epidemic continues devastating lives throughout our region, health officials are reporting a spike in “second wave” epidemics, like hepatitis C. Kara Lofton reports that one way to combat the epidemic may be more needle exchange programs.

We also hear from independent producer Jean Snedegar, who brings us the next installment of our series on the timber industry. This time she focuses on timber procurement.

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Arguments have been presented in the case involving patients possibly exposed to hepatitis at Beckley's Raleigh Heart Clinic.

WVVA-TV reports attorney Steve New, who represents 65 of the 140 patients, asked Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick Thursday to consider their cases as part of a class action lawsuit, saying his clients contracted hepatitis from the clinic.

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More cases involving patients possibly exposed to hepatitis at a heart clinic in West Virginia have emerged.

 

Attorney Stephen New tells WVVA-TV that his firm has 60 clients who he believes contracted hepatitis from the Raleigh Heart Clinic in Beckley.

Doctor's Exam Room
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The Raleigh County Commission has voted to cover some of the testing costs for Raleigh Heart Clinic patients possibly exposed to hepatitis.

News outlets report that hundreds of people have been flocking to the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department for testing after officials announced earlier this spring that 16 people have tested positive for hepatitis B or C in connection with cardiac stress tests conducted at the heart clinic.

Doctor's Exam Room
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Health officials have notified more patients at a West Virginia heart clinic who may have been exposed to hepatitis.

Local media outlets report that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday that four additional cases of hepatitis C were detected by the state Bureau of Public Health.

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West Virginia health and research organizations have partnered to increase access to specialty treatment for Hepatitis-C in rural and underserved areas through telemedicine. A kickoff event for the project will be held today at The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Morgantown.

The idea behind the project – named ECHO, or Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes – is to increase patients' access to specialists without having to physically leave their local communities.  It is a national model.

Doctor's Exam Room
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Officials have investigated at least 12 cases of hepatitis linked to a heart clinic in Beckley.

The viruses have been linked to injectable medications given during cardiac stress tests at the Raleigh Heart Clinic.

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  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is urging thousands of patients to get tested after possible hepatitis exposure at a Raleigh County heart clinic.

Multiple media outlets report that a letter issued by the department in Charleston says several cases of viral hepatitis appear to be associated with a cardiac stress test performed at Beckley's Raleigh Heart Clinic.

The DHHR says all patients who had the stress test at the clinic between March 1, 2012, and March 27, 2015 were sent a copy of the letter.

Hepititus C Drug Works But It's Too Expensive

Nov 25, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Suzanne Higgins reports on a new drug that successfully treats Hepatitis-C, but it comes with a big price tag.  And we’ll visit a distillery in the Eastern Panhandle.

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  The operator of a West Virginia pain management clinic where an investigation found needles were being reused on patients had his medical license revoked in Texas a decade ago.

Health officials in Ohio and West Virginia advised patients of Valley Pain Management in McMechen on Monday to be tested for blood-borne infectious diseases after an investigation found needles and syringes were reused to administer pain medications and saline solutions.

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Health officials are advising patients of a clinic in in the northern panhandle to be tested for some infectious diseases after an investigation discovered questionable practices.