A Better Path to Hepatitis C
At Axium Healthcare Pharmacy, Inc., we believe in a better quality of life for patients and their healthcare partners when treating and managing the most complex conditions such as Hepatitis C. Through the provision of specialty products combined with personalized guidance and support from clinical experts, our patients, providers and partners have the best chance of achieving successful therapy management. With information and a helping hand, we make the path to better healthcare a little easier to navigate for everyone.
Specialty Products + Personalized Guidance + Unmatched Expertise = Improved Outcomes
Hepatitis C (Hep C) is an infectious disease of the liver. Worldwide, health experts estimate that 180 million people have chronic Hep C, with more than 4 million of those cases in the United States. Hep C, like all forms of hepatitis, can damage the liver. Of people infected, 55 to 85 percent will develop chronic infection, and 75 percent of those with chronic infection will develop chronic liver disease.
Hep C is caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus. This virus causes chronic (long-term) infection in more than 85 percent of infected people, often leading to chronic liver disease. Hep C is unrelated to any of the other known hepatitis viruses (A, B, D, and E). Hep C is contracted through infected blood or body fluids and is commonly transmitted by needles. Since 1992, when reliable blood screening procedures became available, the risk of transmission of Hep C by blood transfusion has fallen to less than one per million units of transfused blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rarely, the virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Hep C is not transmitted through shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, breastfeeding, or sharing cups and utensils.
Healthcare providers can diagnose Hep C with a blood test. If you are diagnosed with chronic Hep C, your healthcare provider may advise you to have a liver biopsy to find out if you have chronic liver disease. The symptoms of liver damage may not appear for several years. Therefore, it is important for people at high risk of infection to be tested for hepatitis C so they can start treatment as early as possible. High-risk groups include:
- People who had transfusions of blood or blood products before routine blood screening began
- People receiving dialysis
- People who may have had intimate contact with anyone infected with Hep C
- Healthcare workers exposed to infected people
- Current or former injection-drug users
- People with abnormal liver tests
- People who are HIV positive
If you are diagnosed with Hep C, your healthcare provider will examine you for liver disease and prescribe medicine to get rid of the virus. Because other hepatitis viruses and alcohol use are associated with faster progression of the disease, health experts advise people with Hep C to avoid drinking alcohol and to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent a Hep C infection, however, you can take steps to protect yourself from becoming infected with the virus and to prevent passing the virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Don’t share personal care items that might have blood on them, such as razors or toothbrushes
- Avoid injected drugs or, for drug users, enter a treatment program
- Never share needles, syringes, water, or equipment for intravenous drug use, and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B if you are a drug user
- Consider the risks of getting tattoos or body piercings. You can get infected if the tools have someone else’s blood on them or if the artist or piercer does not follow good health practices.
- Don’t donate blood, organs, or tissue if you have Hep C
Axium Healthcare Pharmacy’s HEPVisions® program sets a clear path to caring, compassionate therapy management and support.
Through these programs, we are able to provide Hep C patients, providers and partners with the necessary coordination of care vital to achieving successful treatment outcomes. By utilizing Axium’s expert patient care team comprised of Doctors of Pharmacy, registered pharmacists and nurses, reimbursement specialists and dedicated Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs), Axium is able to offer each and every patient and partner with high-quality, personalized care, ongoing patient evaluation and clinical support including frequent patient follow-up and continual education about their cancer treatment.
Simply stated, we are your helping hand. We’re with you every step of the way on the path to better healthcare.