46°F
Sponsored by

Doctors to Start Prescribing Breakthrough Hepatitis C Drug

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new medicine is being called a breakthrough for people with Hepatitis C, a liver-destroying virus.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new medicine is being called a breakthrough for people with Hepatitis C, a liver-destroying virus.

A man in Louisiana is one of the first to be cured with the new treatment. Mark Newman is one of the nearly 4 million people in the U.S. who contracted Hepatitis C.

In the 80's many baby boomers got it through blood transfusions before the medical community knew about the virus. While the blood supply is clean now, you can also get it by sharing contaminated drug or tattoo needles and, in rare cases, manicure and pedicure tools and toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C slowly destroys the liver, causing cirrhosis, a cancer. Without a liver transplant it can be fatal.

Eleven years ago, Newman went through the immune boosting combination treatment of injections and pills that can take up to a year.

“The side effects were terrible, brutal,” says Newman. “I mean everything from sweating to bad fever feeling, dermatitis problems, emotional, mental. It was crazy.”

Now, Newman is one of the first to try a new type of drug just FDA approved.

Sovaldi directly stops the virus from reproducing and it dies until nothing is left.

“In the clinical trials it was amazing,” says Dr. Nathan Shores, Medical Director at Tulane. “Certain groups of people with Hep C could be treated with no interferon for as little as 12 weeks cure their virus completely to never have it return in their blood stream again with no side effects, no hospitalizations no blood transfusions.”

Doctors believe within a year, even more promising Hepatitis treatments will be approved.

“The downstream effects that will be seen 20 years after this with less liver cancer and less transplants will be amazing,” says Dr. Shores. “And it will send a ripple through medical care in saving us money and saving lives for several decades afterward.”

Newman is thankful he was in the clinical trial.

“I breezed through it,” says Newman. “I mean a common cold was worse than the treatment that I went through. Here I am a year later, post treatment and clinically cured right now.”

The cost of the new pill is $1,000 a day, or $84,000 for the 12-week recommended treatment.



Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus