Diving Into Hepatitis C Genotypes

The term ‘hepatitis C’ is often discussed as if it’s one disease. However, the situation is a bit more complicated, with there being six main genotypes of hepatitis C. These are numerically labeled genotypes 1-6. The HCV testing process for patients generally starts with two main diagnostic tests: the Hepatitis C Antibody Test which notes…

Post-Treatment Financial Hardship

Cancer treatment brings many stresses to a patient and their family, not least of which is financial. Prior research has documented the monetary challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis, including the fact that someone with cancer is 2.5 times more likely than another person from the general population to file for bankruptcy. In fact,…

Infusion Confusion?

For patients with Crohn’s disease, finding out that a recommended treatment could include infusions of biologic medications can bring up a lot of questions. Let’s answer some of those here. Infusion medications are prescribed for some patients to help keep the Crohn’s disease in remission. For most situations, getting an infusion involves going to an…

Hepatitis C: A Look Back in a Big Year

As we get our bearings at the start of 2019, it’s worth a moment to look back on 2018 and note the many significant developments in the world of hepatitis C. With today’s medications offering a real chance at a cure for most hepatitis C cases, it’s disappointing that there are still more than 2…

The Generic Side of MS Treatment

At the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last week, there was not only talk in many of the meetings about new pharmaceuticals coming to market for many health conditions, but I also heard buzz about the impact generics will have on cost savings this coming year for a variety of diseases….

2019 Looks Brighter for MS

Welcome to 2019: a year that holds some exciting developments for multiple sclerosis medication choices. There are a number of new medications which have reached the late stage of product development and testing; this means at least a few of these should become available this year. Currently, there are nine key medications that are FDA…

Steering Away From Rheumatoid Arthritis

Painful, swollen joints are the calling card of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which afflicts nearly 1.3 million Americans. This disease develops when the immune system mistakenly targets and damages the linings of joints. Long before the classic symptoms of joint pain and swelling develop, it seems likely that early symptoms occur, which are often overlooked. A…

Breathe Easy

Asthma strikes one in every 12 people, which is about 8% of the population. And the numbers are on the rise. The airway swelling of this condition can be triggered by allergens or environmental irritants, leading to potentially life-threatening symptoms of trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. There is no cure, although there are…

Trick or Treat Guide to MS

Halloween is just around the corner and sugary treats are everywhere. When it comes to multiple sclerosis, though, sugar can be a tricky subject. Overall, sticking with a healthy diet can pay off health-wise for those with multiple sclerosis. Poor food choices can contribute to excess inflammation in the body, which worsens MS progression, as…

Understanding NAFLD and NASH

Guest blog by: Monica Morgan, Pharm.D., CSP As a specialty pharmacy that works with many patients during treatment for liver diseases, it’s not surprising that questions about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) come up in our line of work. Although hepatitis C is our primary liver focus, both hepatitis C and NAFLD rank as the…

Mediterranean Diet for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer, as with any cancer, develops for complex reasons. One of the contributing factors in breast cancer traces back to diet. As with the microbiome found in the gut, breast tissue also is affected by the foods one eats. Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina have been exploring this diet-breast…

Flu Shots Important for Cancer Patients

Last month I shared in this blog how important flu shots can be for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis, since protecting against influenza each year keeps people with rheumatoid arthritis healthier and reduces the number of flu-related deaths in that population. Today I want to share a similar message for anyone who has (or even previously…

Psoriasis Social Stigma

More than 8 million Americans experience the uncomfortable, chronic skin condition of psoriasis. Psoriasis leads to dry, scaly, and painful patches of skin, typically on the joints, face, neck, trunk, arms, hands, feet, and scalp. Cures remain out of reach, but there are many treatment choices that help manage the dermatological symptoms of psoriasis. People…

Financial Fallout

A newer field of study, focused on “financial toxicity,” examines issues related to the personal economic burden of cancer treatment. Financial toxicity can affect health outcomes (including rates of death), mental health of patients, as well as the obvious bottom line of family finances. This financial burden can be a clear challenge during breast cancer…

Meet the Newest MS

Researchers recently identified a new sub-type of multiple sclerosis: myelocortical MS. This additional sub-type of multiple sclerosis adds clarity to the growing understanding of MS. It was nearly 20 years ago that an international gathering of multiple sclerosis experts established the then-current classifications of MS. At that time, MS classifications included four types: Relapsing-remitting MS…

Got RA? Get a Flu Shot!

Many parts of the country continue to enjoy summer weather, but fall is just around the corner. And that means flu season is on the way. Influenza vaccinations continue to offer the best way to avoid coming down with the flu. Flu shots can’t protect against every case of the flu, but for the small…

Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs. The Scale

Carrying around extra pounds can increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis – but the relationship between weight and this autoimmune disease actually isn’t as cut and dried as it first appears. First, it should be acknowledged that as body fat and waist circumference goes up, so does the chance of rheumatoid arthritis. Upwards of…

The Latest Word in HCV Treatment

New guidelines for treating hepatitis C infections came out from the World Health Organization. These replace and update WHO’s 2016 recommendations. Certainly a lot has changed in just the past three years – all of it comes as great news for anyone carrying the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The key take-away from these comprehensive new…