Levitee Labs Announces Strategic Partnership With LiveRx Research Group To Provide Equitable Access To Hepatitis C Care throughout Alberta, Canada
Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is effective in over 95% of infected patients, yet remains disproportionately unavailable to certain patient groups across Canada.
Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies will work collaboratively with LiveRx to create easily accessible patient-centric HCV care, impacting currently under-served patient groups, including those with mental health conditions such as substance use disorders.
The partnership involves Levitee Labs promoting and implementing the LiveRx test and treat program, providing HCV screening and treatment, in addition to communications on optimal care strategies through the Levitee Labs’ portfolio of companies.
Levitee Labs Inc., an integrative wellness company with a diversified portfolio of healthcare and wellness assets, announces a new strategic collaboration with the LiveRx Research Group (“LiveRx”) for testing, treating, and curing HCV in Alberta.
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LiveRx is a project led by Dr. Mark G. Swain, Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Calgary and funded by The Alberta Innovates Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) funding program. LiveRx is dedicated to addressing inequities in the current specialist referral-based HCV care model.
Levitee Labs and LiveRx will work jointly to create an equitable, patient-centric HCV care model that facilitates shifting HCV care from specialist treatment centers in urban centers to easily accessible clinics and pharmacies across the province.
As part of the collaboration agreement, Levitee Labs will implement the LiveRx HCV test and treat program at its Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies across Alberta from January 2022 through January 2024.
The following activities will be part of the collaboration with LiveRx:
- Conducting HCV screening and testing for Levitee Clinics patients.
- Including patients identified with HCV who are within the Levitee Clinics care program as part of the LiveRx HCV eradication research program.
- Undertaking HCV treatment for appropriate HCV-infected individuals through a Levitee-linked pharmacy with full support of LiveRx where available.
- Promoting the LiveRx program at Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies sites.
- Communicating regularly with the LiveRx Research Group to assess implementation successes, challenges, and further needs, and make mutually agreed upon changes where appropriate.
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In Canada, it is estimated that 250,000 Canadians are living with chronic HCV and thousands of new cases are diagnosed each year1. 44% of those infected are unaware of their HCV status2; symptoms can take two weeks to six months to appear, and most people will not develop symptoms3. If left untreated, HCV can progress over time to serious liver damage and is associated with a range of systemic health problems, decreased quality of life, and increased healthcare costs4. The North American HCV drug market was valued at USD$3.7 billion as of 2018.5
“HCV infects up to 1% of Canadians and can lead to dire complications, such as liver cancer and irreversible liver scarring, for which there are limited treatment options,” commented Dr. Mark G. Swain. “What’s disheartening is that current HCV treatments can safely cure more than 95% of these infected individuals, but access to these therapies are disproportionately unavailable to priority populations, an obstacle that we are optimistic we can overcome by modifying the standard of care through work with companies like Levitee Labs.”
“As I am an expert in HCV care, we are thrilled to be working with Dr. Swain and his team with the common goal of eradicating HCV in Alberta,” commented Noha ElSayed, B.Sc.Pharm, APA, Executive Director, Levitee Clinics and Levitee Pharmacies, Alberta Region. “By combining resources and implementing a non-judgmental practice to testing and community-based approach to treatment, we can make a meaningful impact on healthcare from both personal and provincial perspectives.”
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