FDA approves new drug to treat all forms of hepatitis C

FDA approves new drug to treat all forms of hepatitis C

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has finally approved the first drug to treat all forms of hepatitis C for patients who weren’t cured by prior treatment.

The just approved pill combination known as Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) is from AbbVie Inc. Mavyret joins a couple of other AbbVie hepatitis C drugs that are already of the market.

The approval of the new drug is for all sorts of hepatitis C. Its approval will provide doctors and patients with more options. Insurers will get more leverage to mangle discounts out of firms to cover the pricey drugs.

Dr. Edward Cox, of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation & Research, said, “This approval provides a shorter treatment duration for many patients, and also a treatment option for certain patients with genotype 1 infection, the most common HCV genotype in the United States, who were not successfully treated with other direct-acting antiviral treatments in the past.”

As per data provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C typically develops very slowly over decades, without revealing symptoms until serious damage is done. Without treatment, it can result in liver failure, often requiring a liver transplant or resulting in death.