The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Drugs for Hepatitis C

The CDC is now recommending that everyone in the US born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.1

RATIONALE FOR TESTING — The CDC estimates that 3.25% of US adults born between 1945 and 1965 have antibodies against hepatitis C, and that many of them have chronic hepatitis C infection (detectable HCV RNA in serum) and do not know it. The CDC believes that early identification of these patients and appropriate medical care can reduce transmission of the disease and improve health outcomes. Chronic hepatitis C is a risk factor for hepatic cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. Treatment with effective antiviral drugs can eradicate the infection and decrease the risk and severity of these complications.

TREATMENT — For many years, the standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C was subcutaneously injected ... more      

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