“Breakthrough Drug” for Hepatitis C Within Reach

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cristian Vallejos, MD

On December 6, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the eagerly awaited Hepatitis C medication sofosbuvir (Sovaldi™, Gilead Sciences, Inc.) and gave it the designation of “breakthrough therapy”.

An oral medication, and the first of its kind, sofosbuvir has been approved as a breakthrough medication for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C infection in adults given its significant advantages over current therapies in the way of increased efficacy and a decreased side effect profile.

It is estimated that in the United States 3.2 million people are infected with this virus. In the past, our ability to successfully treat these patients has been limited not just by the resistance the virus can have against medications but also by a host of debilitating side effects these medications can have on the body.  Sofosbuvir in this respect is considered to be a “game changer” and a significant step in finding a “cure” for the majority of our patients infected with the virus.

The FDA approval of sofosbuvir supports its use in an all-oral combination with an already existing pill named ribavirin for genotypes 2 and 3 and for genotype 1 treatment naïve patients in a triple cocktail with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, both medications which we have been using to treat Hepatitis C for many years now.

We at The Oregon Clinic are excited at the opportunity to offer the possibility of this new therapy to our patients with the appropriate indications and anxiously await its availability for use. Click here to learn more about our Gastroenterology specialty and our Hepatology (Liver Disease) specialty.

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