Effective – and costly – new treatments for hep C on the horizon

November 11th, 2013

Recently we have seen a promising rise in the number of potential hepatitis C treatments gaining FDA approval. And, while such developments can only be welcomed, there has been concern expressed in some quarters about the anticipated high costs of these new treatments.

The currently available treatments can result in severe side-effects including nausea, fever and insomnia.  Indeed, many people with hep C choose to deliberately delay treatment in the hope of a better therapy becoming available, often described as ‘warehousing’.

We recently  reported that a combination of two new antiviral drugs, sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, was successful in stopping the hepatitis C virus replicating in 97% of cases – even for individuals who had previously responded poorly to existing treatments.

Dr Mitchell L. Shiffman, the director of the Bon Secours Liver Institute of Virginia, commented: “There is no doubt we are on the verge of wiping out hepatitis C”.

However, the financial cost of these new treatments may limit their accessibility. It is believed that new courses of treatment could cost from $60,000 to more than $100,000. Those without health insurance and those in developing countries may find them out of their reach.

Here at Hepatitis C News we will be keeping a close watch on treatment developments.

Photo by 401 (K) 2013

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