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Another option to eliminate hepatitis C is here!
December 19, 2014 – Today the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a powerful new tool for treating hepatitis C (HCV), AbbVie’s new all-oral, interferon-free drug regimen. The combination of ombitasvir, ritonavir, dasabuvir, and paritaprevir (with or without ribavirin), which will be marketed under the trade name Viekira Pak™, has proven highly effective in curing HCV genotype 1. The approval of this new regimen marks a significant step forward as it represents the second all-oral, interferon-free treatment for HCV to become available in just the last few months. The addition of AbbVie’s regimen will provide beneficial competition to Gilead’s Harvoni™, the all-oral, fixed-dose combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, that received FDA approval in October.
AbbVie’s regimen was approved by the FDA as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults. Approximately 75 percent of people infected with HCV in the United States have the genotype 1 strain of the virus. The new therapy is considered an advance not only because of the high cure rates that it has been able to achieve-more than 95 percent of genotype 1 patients were cured in large, phase three trials-but because of the simplicity of administration and the limited side effects. Because this treatment has been approved as an interferon-free regimen, many Americans who previously failed treatment or were ineligible or unwilling to undergo treatment due to the harsh side effects of previous treatments will have another effective option to be cured of their disease.
The arrival of these amazing new drug regimens for HCV has turned the last few months of 2014 into an exciting time for the millions of Americans living with HCV. The focus must now shift to ensuring that all patients who are interested in pursuing therapy have access to these outstanding new drug regimens. Caring Ambassadors encourages all parties- industry leaders and community advocates, patients and policymakers-to come to the table to find solutions that will benefit everyone. If we work together, we can eradicate hepatitis C virus in our lifetime.