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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
VA Expands Agent Orange Claim Eligibility

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Tricare Panel Votes to End Coverage of Brand Name Viagra, Cialis

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Can You Really Be Recalled to Active Duty at Any Time?

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Benefits Program

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Fisher House celebrates second anniversary

Date Posted:01/04/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
From golf courses to commissaries: More details about access to new military benefits for 4.1 million extra people

Date Posted:01/01/20
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
New for 2020: Commissary, exchanges opening up to 4 million more people

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
The Space Force is officially the sixth military branch. Here’s what that means.

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Congress Overrides Pentagon on GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Video: Meet the MH 139A Grey Wolf

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Military spouses will get reimbursed up to $1,000 for professional relicensing costs

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Defense bill requires local JROTC programs to admit homeschooled students

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
10 Military Discounts for Spouses

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Scholarship Application for Military Children Program Now Open

Date Posted:12/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Eligible Commissary and Exchange Shoppers

Date Posted:12/16/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
VA nursing homes, assisted living, and home health care

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
9 Great Freebies for Military and Their Families

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
National Desert Storm War Memorial approved concept unveiled

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Air Force Guard and Reserve Members Can Now Check Retirement Status Online

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Veterans with Base Access Still Face Delays on New Commissary Benefit

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Military families in line for tens of thousands in benefits under plan to dump the ‘widows tax’

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
More retirees, family members to be booted from military hospitals under Pentagon reform plans

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
2020 Military Pay Dates

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Air Force to drop below the zone promotions for officers

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/16/20
Here’s when your military 2019 tax statement will be ready

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
Military Members, DoD Civilians Are Eligible for Free TSA Precheck

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
These States Will Be the Most Popular for Veterans in the Next 25 Years

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
TRICARE Open Season

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veteran & Survivor Pension Rates Increase For 2020

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Disabled Veterans Can Now Fly Space A

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Veterans Can Now Learn About Their Toxic Exposure Risks with New VA App

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
January’s new military shopping benefit delayed for tens of thousands of veterans

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Everything You Need to Know About Vets' and Caregivers' New Base Access

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Here’s how veterans stack up financially, compared to their non veteran peers

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
How to use your GI Bill benefits at a foreign university

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Military Exchange Extends Return Policy for Holiday Shopping

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veterans more likely to be targeted by sophisticated financial scams

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Companies that Recruit Veterans Often Fail to Hire Them, Data Shows

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Here's a New, Fast Way for Veterans to See Their Health Records

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
VA Plans to Resolve all 'Legacy Appeals' by the End of 2022

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
New Study Supports Using Shot to Treat PTSD

Date Posted:11/06/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
7 tips for veterans to land a federal job

Date Posted:11/06/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Prescription drug costs, some Tricare fees to rise in 2020

Date Posted:11/01/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veterans database launching to link veterans with entertainment industry employers

Date Posted:10/22/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
More questions answered as installations get ready for the potential 3 million extra shoppers

Date Posted:10/11/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/20
WARNING Hackers target job hunting service members, veterans with sham employment website

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Latest Update Tricare Drug Costs to Increase More Than 40% in 2020

Date Posted:10/05/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Disney Renews Armed Forces Salute for Another Year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/20
VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Free flu shots for Veterans at your local Walgreens

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Retirees, family members to see increases in dental and vision premiums next year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Four College Degrees Veterans Need to Consider

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

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VA on Track to Cure Nearly All Patients with Hepatitis C
Posted on: 06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/19


 Test tube with blood sample for hepatitis C virus (HCV) test. (Getty image)


Four years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched an ambitious initiative to cure all VA patients with chronic hepatitis C. Today, the department is more than three-quarters of the way, healing nearly 100,000 veterans of the virus, with 26,000 more to go.

Hepatitis C disproportionately affects people born between 1945 and 1965 and is contracted by sharing contaminated needles, getting a tattoo in an unregulated setting, having a blood transfusion before 1992, or having sex with infected partners.

Many of those with hepatitis C at the VA are Vietnam-era veterans who may have contracted it through transfusions, field vaccinations or intravenous drug use. Given that the VA is the largest single hepatitis C care provider in the country, the department set out in 2015 to eradicate the disease within its patient population, reducing their risk for cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer and death.

"We are within striking range of eliminating hepatitis C among veterans under the care of the Veterans Health Administration," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. "Diagnosing, treating and curing hepatitis C virus infection among veterans has been a significant priority for VA."

To date, the VA has spent $814 million on medications to attack the pernicious disease, curing 99,035 veterans, with an additional 16,000 currently undergoing treatment. The department plans to "treat all remaining veterans with HCV who are able and willing to be treated as rapidly as possible," according to VA officials.

"VA continues to enhance prevention efforts and services for those at highest risk of acquiring a new infection or reinfection and veterans with advanced liver disease," a VA spokeswoman told Military.com.

When the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi was introduced to the market in 2014, it was considered a breakthrough that reduced the time to treat patients from one year to 12 weeks. But the drug was expensive, with an estimated cost of nearly $12 billion to treat the VA's hepatitis C patients.

Following congressional hearings and accusations against Gilead Sciences Inc., maker of Sovaldi, of price-gouging, the company and its then-competitor, Janssen Therapeutics, maker of Olysio, negotiated with the VA to decrease the costs.

Today, the main medicines used by the VA to treat hepatitis C include Sovaldi and Mayvret, introduced to the market in 2017, an eight- to 12-week regimen that costs significantly less than other hepatitis C medications. A monthly supply of Mayvret before discounts is roughly $13,800, or $164 a pill.

The VA is so confident in the current available treatments for hepatitis C that it has begun offering patients needing organ transplants the option of receiving one that has tested positive for hepatitis C, followed by treatment for the virus.

The Iowa City VA Health Care System in March successfully transplanted hepatitis C-infected kidneys into four patients, negating their need for dialysis. The innovative strategy, according to Dr. Daniel Katz, the Iowa City transplant surgery director, provides cost-savings while improving veterans' lives.

"The high cost of hep C treatment may hinder rapid adoption of this practice in the private sector, where the transplant center may not be reimbursed for the hep C treatment," Katz said in a news release. "Even with the hep C treatment, though, there will be cost savings over time by removing patients from dialysis."

Across the VA medical system, transplant centers are offering infected organs to VA patients desperate to get off transplant lists. The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville offer infected livers and hearts; the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, will transplant hearts; and the VA Portland Health Care System in Oregon and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Pennsylvania can transplant infected livers.

Navy veteran Jack Jones was treated two years ago for hepatitis C through the VA and recently was offered an infected kidney, which he accepted. After his transplant, he completed a treatment regimen for reinfection and is now back at home in Asheville, North Carolina. He no longer requires dialysis.

"I would recommend this, and the VA, to anyone," Jones said in a news release.

About 2.4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, with fewer than half aware that they have the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C, as well as patients who received clotting factor concentrates before 1987 or a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.

Health workers involved in needle sticks, injection drug users, those who have gotten a tattoo in a place other than a licensed parlor and dialysis patients also should consider getting tested, according to the CDC.

By Patricia Kime



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