Thursday, August 3, 2017

Is the 25-year hepatitis C marathon coming to an end to declare victory?

World J Hepatol. Jul 28, 2017; 9(21): 921-929
Published online Jul 28, 2017. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i21.921

Is the 25-year hepatitis C marathon coming to an end to declare victory?
Khulood T Ahmed, Ashraf A Almashhrawi, Jamal A Ibdah, Veysel Tahan

It has been less than three decades since the discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 1989 by Choo et al[1]. The process of discovering the virus was very daunting as described in Dr. Houghton’s paper[2]. Recognized as the reason behind non-A non-B hepatitis, the big picture of the health and financial burden this virus would have caused became clear. With the high sustained virologic responses (SVRs) reported recently with the use of direct acting, soon will be forgotten the miserable quality of life patients of hepatitis C have had to endure with the not as effective and with unpleasant side effects interferon-based treatments. Not until five years ago when direct acting agents, protease inhibitors telaprevir (Incivec, Vertex) and boceprevir (Victrelis, Merck) were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, had we started seeing SVR rates above 70%. Since then, many direct acting agents have been approved with SVR rates above 90%. While very promising, challenges for treatment, such as access to medications and healthcare management, remain widely spread.

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