New Hepatitis C Drug Regimen May Provide Faster Treatment For Some


HealthDay (9/15, Behen) reports that according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a new drug regimen for hepatitis C composed of “peginterferon and ribavirin, two drugs that have been the standard of care for hepatitis C for more than a decade,” and “a recently approved hepatitis C medication called telaprevir,” a protease inhibitor, can cure patients “in half the normal time.” In particular, “tailoring patients’ treatment regimen to their response to the drugs, which is known as response-guided therapy, enabled many patients to cut treatment time in half.” Hepatitis C “can lead to liver cancer and is the number one cause of liver transplants in the United States.”

        MedPage Today (9/15, Smith) reports that patients “patients who responded early and strongly” and consequently received “the shorter therapy had significantly fewer adverse events.” Those “who did not have an extended rapid response…were nonrandomly assigned to the longer treatment arm.” Notably, 92% of early responders and 88% of the rest “sustained virologic response — defined as undetectable HCV both at the end of treatment and 24 weeks later.” Medscape (9/15, Hitt) also covers the story.