New treatments mean better outcomes for hepatitis C patients, but first they have to be diagnosed.
Three years ago, the outlook changed dramatically for patients with hepatitis C.
Until 2014, a hepatitis C diagnosis meant a slow decline into cirrhosis, possibly liver cancer.
There was a treatment — a six to 18-month regimen of weekly interferon injections and daily doses of ribavirin pills that left many patients fatigued, achy, nauseous, even depressed. But for those with the most common form of the contagious disease, it offered only 40 percent odds of a cure.
Then in December 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved Sovaldi, the first of several new drugs delivered in pill form that promised to cure more than 90 percent of cases in as little as two to three months, with minimal side effects.
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