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Home > Education Resources > Liver Lowdown > Liver Lowdown Jan 2015 > Happenings

Liver Lowdown



New Drug Approved for the Treatment of Hepatitis C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new drug regimen to treat chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C (the most common kind). VIEKIRA PAK™, manufactured by AbbVie, is s an oral, interferon-free drug treatment that, in clinical trials, cured 95-100% of patients with minimal side effects. Learn more about Viekira here.

Website Helps Inform Decisions About Health Insurance Purchases

The National Health Council recently re-launched, a website that provides resources to help the public make informed decisions about purchasing health insurance in the marketplace. The site features an Estimate My Costs calculator with plan data and information on premium and cost-sharing subsidies. The calculator allows people to enter their health information and see how their health care costs will vary depending on the different plans sold in their state.

As Cold & Flu Season Strikes, Remember to Double Check; Don’t Double Up

As you stock your medicine cabinet to combat coughs and stuffy noses, remember to double check your medicine labels so you don’t double up on medicines containing acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the U.S., and each week more than 50 million Americans use it to treat pain, fever, and cold and flu symptoms. It’s safe and effective when used as directed, but taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. Learn more at


Webinar Offers Patients and Families Valuable Information about Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Approximately, 355 people participated in the American Liver Foundation's webinar on primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) that took place January 15, 2014. Making Sense of PBC: A Doctor and Patient Explain, featured Cynthia Levy, MD, a liver specialist at the University of Miami, and patient advocate Carolyn Evans, who was diagnosed with PBC more than 20 years ago.

Dr. Levy talked about the diagnosis and management of PBC. Carolyn Evans relayed her experiences about living with PBC and shared her thoughts about what she's learned in the process. A question and answer session followed the presentations.

To view the PBC webinar proceedings, click here.

ALF webinars are designed to inform the public about liver disease and allow them an opportunity to engage with leading physicians and patient advocates.

The PBC webinar was supported by Intercept Pharmaceuticals.

ALF Great Lakes Division Joins Veterans Administration to Educate Vets about Hep C

On November 4, 2014, the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division partnered with the Veterans’ Administration (VA) to inform veterans about hepatitis C. As part of this effort, VA hospital healthcare professionals were present to test Veterans for HCV using the OraSure Rapid Test Kits and provide counseling based on test results. More than 90 veterans visited the screening site and 55 qualified for testing (they had not been tested previously). According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the estimated prevalence of known chronic hepatitis C virus in veterans using the VA health system is more than double the rate reported in the general population.

Skating for a Cause

Five-time Olympic Speed Skating Gold Medalist Bonnie Blair lent her support to ALF’s Upper Midwest Division through participation in its Skate for Liver Health event held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 28, 2014. Blair has been a spokesperson for the Upper Midwest Division for 14 years.

Rotary Club Joins Forces with ALF on Liver Health Education

From Left to Right: Richard Traina, Lindsay Ventura, and Sanjay Deshpande

The ALF New England Division has partnered with the Wachusett Area Rotary Club in Light Up Rotary, which is designed to dispel the stigma of hepatitis C through education. Lindsay Ventura, the Division’s community outreach and education manager, has visited three Rotary Clubs so far with 15 other visits planned this year. Ventura will inform Rotarians about liver health and hepatitis C, particularly the incidence and effects in baby boomers. The presentations will culminate in a screening event for Rotarians and the general public in the spring of 2015.

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Page updated: January 22nd, 2015


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