Ellen Scharaga holds a BS in pharmacology from St. John’s University in New York. Dedicated to developing innovative specialty medications, Ellen Scharaga serves as an operational consultant at Alegria Specialty Pharmacy and helps patients manage health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, organ transplants, infertility and hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is caused by a viral infection which is transmitted through contaminated blood and leads to liver inflammation and potentially severe liver damage. Traditional hepatitis C treatments included the use of oral medications and weekly injections that had undesirable side effects. However, the disease is now typically cured by taking oral medications each day for two to six months.
Approximately half of the people with hepatitis C don’t even know they are infected since symptoms can take decades to become evident. A single screening blood test is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anyone with an increased risk for the disease. People born between 1945 and 1965 have a five-times greater risk of being infected with hepatitis C, since before 1992, there was no test to screen for the disease, and during this period, the disease was known to have been spread through the blood supply.