Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Treat Now or Wait?

Medscape released a new learning activity yesterday discussing which hepatitis C patients may be able to wait for future therapies. The CME offers a video and transcript.

Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Treat Now or Wait?

Donald M. Jensen, MD; Mark S. Sulkowski, MD
CME/CE Released: 09/04/2012; Valid for credit through 09/04/2013
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Transcript excerpt:
Mark S. Sulkowski, MD: Hello. I am Dr Mark Sulkowski, professor of Medicine and medical director of the Viral Hepatitis Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. I would like to welcome you to this program, "Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Treat Now or Wait?" Joining me today is Dr Donald Jensen, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Chicago School of Medicine.
Before we get started, I would like to note that a lot of what we are going to discuss is on investigational drugs: not everything we are going to talk about is approved for prescription in the United States at this time. To have this discussion, we need to talk about what is currently approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and what we hope will be available for our patients in the near future. Don, why talk about whether to treat now or wait? Give us a scenario.

Donald M. Jensen, MD: As you know, 13 months ago, 2 new drugs, telaprevir and boceprevir, were approved for the treatment of chronic HCV infection in conjunction with the standard pegylated interferon/ribavirin backbone regimen. Telaprevir- and boceprevir-based triple therapy proved very effective in improving sustained virologic response (SVR) rates in patients with genotype 1 HCV infection, but also exacerbated some of the adverse effects associated with standard interferon-based therapy. The course of therapy is still relatively long in duration, usually 24 or 48 weeks. With the prospect of newer therapies becoming available sooner than anticipated, we need to consider that some of our patients may be able and inclined to wait for treatment with future therapies that might be easier to take, better tolerated, and have shorter courses of treatment compared with the standard regimens used today.

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From Medscape Education Infectious Diseases

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