News on Wellness

New Drug For Hepatitis C – A 90% Success Rate!

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Every year around 130 to 150 million people are affected with chronic hepatitis C infections, and 350,000 to 500,000 people are not able to survive on account to hepatitis C-related liver disease. Hepatitis C is the number one cause for cirrhosis, liver degeneration and liver cancer according to World Health Organization. Hepatitis C is a blood borne viral disease which spreads through contaminated needles, tattoo needles, and anything where bodily fluids can exchange.

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Researchers all over the world have been trying to develop new alternatives apart from interferon based treatments which do not show much response in people suffering with cirrhosis. Traditionally Hepatitis C cure rates have been very poor. Patients with Liver Scarring or Cirrhosis had a success rate of below 50%, with no assurance regarding the safety of drugs administered. Until recently researchers from UT Medicine San Antonio and the Texas Liver Institute have formulated an investigational oral therapy, which gave good response for over 90% patients suffering with liver cirrhosis. This twelve weeks medicine was well tolerated and showed no side effects which assured its safety for curing Hepatitis C infections.

The lead researcher, Dr. Fred Poordad, has released their finding in The New England Journal of Medicine. He had presented the data at the International Liver Congress in London.

This new oral drug was tested on 380 patients at 78 centers across England, Spain, Germany and the United States in 2013. Two studies were simultaneously conducted one for 12 weeks and one for 24 weeks with the investigational drug. 191 out of 208 patients no longer had hepatitis C after twelve weeks. After twenty four weeks, the response increased to 165 out of 172 patients without traces of infection. To summarize, after completion of twelve weeks, no hepatitis C virus was detected in the bloodstream of 91.8 percent of patients. The next set administered for 24 weeks showed a remarkable result wherein 95.9 percent were virus-free.

The new therapy is interferon free and has other molecules like ABT-450/ritonavir, ribavirin, ombitasvir and dasabuvir. This breakthrough discovery is a real blessing to people down with cirrhosis and Hepatitis C infection. This medication is expected to be launched commercially by the end of 2014 or early 2015 next year.

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