Patient Dilemma: Treat Hepatitis C Now or Hold Out?

Patient Dilemma: Treat Hepatitis C Now or Hold Out?

By PETER LOFTUS

Figuring out which patients should be treated quickly and who can wait isn't always clear-cut. Certain people with cirrhosis shouldn't postpone treatment, doctors say. And certain patients are less responsive to treatment than others; African-Americans, for instance, have a lower cure rate than do whites or Asians.
Some doctors oppose warehousing hepatitis C patients. "For many patients who would have a favorable response to treatment now, it doesn't make sense to me to put their treatment off," says Mitchell L. Shiffman, a liver specialist with Bon Secours Health System's Liver Institute of Virginia. Dr. Shiffman has served as a consultant to some of the hepatitis C drug developers and has conducted clinical trials of the drugs......

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