Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus

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Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus

Hepatitis C infection rates are highest in injection drug user populations.

A major new study involving drug users is to explore a way of eliminating the killer Hepatitis C virus.

Hundreds of Scots will take part in the research led by Glasgow Caledonian and Bristol universities.

The virus, a major cause of liver disease and cancer, affects around 200,000 people in the UK, with most having injected drugs.

The £2.8m study will look at whether the virus can be stopped entirely if treatment is sufficiently increased.

Currently, treatment can cure more than 90% of patients within eight to 12 weeks with few side effects, however the cost of new anti-virals is significant.

During the study, researchers will treat up to 500 people in NHS Tayside who inject drugs over a period of two years.

Treatment will be offered in a number of settings including pharmacies, addiction services and prisons.

It is anticipated this “major and rapid scale-up of treatment” will reduce chronic Hepatitis C in the population of people who inject drugs by two-thirds.

The results will be used to guide clinical practice and policy, and support NHS decisions on whether drug users should be targeted for early treatment in the community.

Read on: Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus – BBC News

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

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