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FDA Approves New Hepatitis C Drugs

FDA Approves New Hepatitis C Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs in the first new class of drugs for hepatitis C since 2001. On May 13, 2011, the FDA approved boceprevir (Victrelis). On May 23, they approved a second drug, telaprevir (Incivek).

Available medications for hepatitis C (pegylated interferon and ribavirin) have low cure rates for patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C, but if used with one of these two new drugs as a 3-drug combination, there's a higher chance of successful treatment in these patients. With these new therapies, VA expects to increase the number of Veterans with chronic hepatitis C who successfully complete treatment and decrease the number of Veterans who go on to have liver complications. At the same time, these new drugs have their own side effects, and there are many patients for whom a 2-drug combination may still be the best option.