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August 13, 2014

New Expensive Treatments for Hepatitis C Infection

Author Affiliations
  • 1CVS Caremark, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2014;312(6):593-594. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8897

Treatment of infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) has changed substantially in the last 3 years, with new therapies now reaching cure rates (defined by sustained virologic response) higher than 95%. As little as 3 years ago, treatment involved an arduous course of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, which caused serious adverse effects in more than 80% of patients; less than 50% of patients could finish the treatment course. Because HCV infection can be indolent, with slowly developing liver injury in the form of scarring and fibrosis, many patients were so-called warehoused by their physicians, followed up closely while waiting for more promising treatments.1

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