Hepatitis C Guidelines May Help Pharmacists Improve Clinical Results

Updates to an essential treatment resource for Hepatitis C could help specialty pharmacists better manage complex condition.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bill Schu, Group Editorial Director, (609) 716-125, bschu@mdng.com

New Hepatitis C Guidelines Could Help Pharmacists Improve Clinical Results

Updates to an essential treatment resource for Hepatitis C could help specialty pharmacists better manage complex condition.

PLAINSBORO, NJ (March 8, 2010)—The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) recently issued new treatment guidelines that provide key insights on proper management of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is the leading cause of liver disease and transplants in the United States, where it infects approximately 17,000 people a year. Though no cure exists, advances in medication therapy for the treatment of HCV have enabled many patients to live relatively symptom-free lives.

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In response to these updates, the February 2010 issue of has published a pharmacy-focused debriefing of the AASLD recommendations. In the article, “Therapy Class Review: Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Guidelines,” Russel Allinson, RPh, MS, highlights specific areas of treatment—including viral kinetics, adverse events, HIV coinfection, and alcohol use—in which pharmacists can directly impact patient outcomes.

Because commonly prescribed medications for the infection cause significant side effects and require complex self-dosing regimens, extra support from health care providers is often needed to help patients successfully complete a course of treatment. This provides an ideal opportunity for pharmacists to work directly with patients to guide adherence throughout the duration of therapy. “Quite often, the gastrointestinal practice is busy and eager to collaborate with and provide direct referrals to a pharmacist who is interested in providing therapy management,” Allinson wrote.

For pharmacists interested in developing an HCV specialty practice, targeted understanding of the AASLD guidelines is crucial. According to Allinson, “It is through a thorough understanding of the disease, its treatment, and the impact on patients and their families that the pharmacist will develop an optimal specialty therapy management program.” %u25A0

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