New treatment for Hepatitis C

To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.

December 7, 2013, 7:28 am
SHARE THIS POST
Print Article


(NECN/NBC News: Erika Edwards) - Nearly three million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C,  which can trigger potentially fatal liver diseases. One of the main treatment options is an injectable drug called Interferon.

But its side effects are so severe only half of patients can tolerate it.

Now a new class of medication is on the horizon.

"The new medications will take us a step further in our ability to cure patients, we now easily go into the 80-90% cure rate," said Dr. Pierre Gholam at U.H. Medical center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Patients take a pill once a day and are done with treatment in a matter of weeks instead of months.

Some patients will still need interferon injections, but those who can eliminate the shots have minimal side effects and the drugs can be given to patients at any stage of the disease.

"will allow many patients to avoid the complications of liver disease down the line which include the development of cirrhosis and need for liver transplant, and liver cancer," Gholam said.
 
Because Hepatitis c is so prevalent among baby boomers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the virus.

Doctors say that testing could identify up to a million people who didn't know they were infected.

And with these new treatment options,  it appears more will be spared the devastating side effects of the virus.

The projected cost of the new drug runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the medication by the end of the year.

Tags: FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis c, NBC News, Erika Edwards
RELATED STORIES
COMMENTS
The law addresses the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the buffer zone law in Mass. that called for a protest-free area
Accident took place Wednesday in Easton, Maine
Axe was not properly secured on dump truck traveling in front of passenger vehicle