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Drugs offer new hope for hepatitis C

Two promising hepatitis C drugs were the focus of a recent Associated Press article. In her piece, Lauran Neergaard describes why the medications, if approved by the FDA, could be so helpful to the millions of people with the disease:

Today's two-drug treatment for hepatitis C cures only about 40% of people with the most common variety of the virus, and causes some grueling side effects. Now major studies show that adding a new drug - either Vertex Pharmaceuticals' telaprevir or Merck & Co.'s boceprevir - can boost those cure rates as high as 75%. And they allow some people to cut treatment time in half, to six months, thus lessening how long they must deal with those side effects.

If the Food and Drug Administration approves the drugs - a decision widely expected this summer - they would be the first that work by directly targeting the hepatitis C virus. Specialists draw comparisons to the early 1990s when potent combination therapies emerged to treat AIDS...

Previously: Program examines hepatitis C, the "silent epidemic" and Hepatitis C virus's Achilles heel

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