A combination medication offers hope for hepatitis C.
A pill that contains three powerful antiviral drugs might offer a cure for many hepatitis C patients who have failed other treatments, researchers report.
“Currently, we have very good treatments for hepatitis C, and we are able to achieve a cure in over 90 percent of patients. So globally, although only a few patients relapse, it still is a significant number,” said lead researcher Dr. Marc Bourliere, from the Hospital Saint Joseph in Marseilles, France.
This new pill is being developed as a rescue treatment for patients who have failed other therapy, he said. When it was used as an initial treatment in another study, the combination pill fared no better than the usual treatment, he added.
The data from these and other trials, funded by Gilead Sciences, the maker of the combination pill, is in the hands of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where it is undergoing the approval process, Bourliere said.
The bottom line, according to Bourliere, is: “We have other options even if you fail the first treatments.”
The new combination pill is likely to be expensive. In 2014, Gilead introduced a combination drug for hepatitis C called Harvoni, which was priced at more than $1,000 a dose with a 12-week course of treatment running $94,500, the Associated Press reported.
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