08:32pm Saturday 16 December 2017

Hepatitis C clinic's expertise, dedication aids patients

Image with caption: Mark Mailliard, M.D., chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at UNMC.

For nearly 20 years, a dedicated team at Nebraska Medicine has been treating hepatitis C patients and continues to work toward offering the best therapies available.

“Having a dedicated hepatitis C clinic shows it’s a top focus of ours,” said clinic director Mark Mailliard, M.D., professor, internal medicine, and chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at UNMC. “We want to be the place where hepatitis C patients come for treatment.”

See a video about the clinic here.

The specialty clinic serves as a referral center for hepatitis C patients in the region, and participates in the Hepatitis C Therapeutic Registry and Research Network (HCV-TARGET).

Dr. Mailliard said Nebraska Medicine and UNMC’s role in this network is important because in the next couple of years, several new, more superior medications will be approved for hepatitis C therapy.

“With the availability of these new drugs, we will be able to capture a wealth of information that’s critical to determining which drugs are best and for which patients,” he said. “This is a great example of translational research at its best — taking the latest research discoveries to patients. I’ve seen the treatments evolve and am very optimistic with the new therapies available.”

A dedicated team of medical colleagues work together to ensure the 25 to 30 patients seen at the clinic each week have the best possible experience. The medical team also includes pharmacists and financial assistance teams.

“We work closely with pharmacists and their financial assistance teams who help us get the expensive medication to our patients,” Dr. Mailliard said. “If we didn’t have the support of pharmacy, we wouldn’t be able to see nearly the amount of patients that we see.”

Dr. Mailliard estimates that since the winter of 2013, 600 people have been prescribed medication for hepatitis C.

In addition to various clinical research trials, Dr. Mailliard said they also are working with One Chart colleagues to prepare a health maintenance alert. The alert would notify clinicians of the potential of their patients to have the hepatitis C infection. 

The continual improvement of therapies, research and seeing patients’ quality of life improve has brought many smiles to the faces of the Hepatitis C Specialty Clinic.

 

“We really enjoy working with our patients and seeing them get cured,” said Dr. Mailliard. “It’s just a gratifying experience.”


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