Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir combination called Harvoni pushes HCV cure above 90%

FDA approval of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir will push HCV cure for genotype one patients closer to 100%. We will be able to avoid the risks and side effects of interferon injections. The treatment length for most patients will be 12 weeks and will fall to 8 weeks for some patients. Ribavirin will not be needed for genotype one patients.

If you are cured, your viral level falls to
undetectable during treatment and stays undetectable for the rest of your life. If your HCV-RNA is undetectable 3 months after completion of treatment, you have 99% chance of permanent cure. Liver damage stops and liver healing starts. This improves survival and often restores health.

Your treatment is determined by the genotype of the HCV virus in your blood. About 80% of American patients have genotype one. About 10% have genotype 2 and about 10% have genotype 3. Only a few American patients have genotypes 4,5 or 6.

Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is an oral HCV polymerase inhibitor that is combined with ribavirin for patients with genotype 2 and genotype 3. Genotype 2 patients are treated 12 weeks with a success rate of 97%. Genotype 3 patients are treated 24 weeks with a success rate of 85%.
Sovaldi does not have the numerous drug interaction problems
found with Incivek (telaprevir) and Victrelis (boceprevir), which are protease inhibitors.

 I am a board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. In addition, I completed 2 years of residency in pathology at Duke University Medical Center from 1977 to 1979. I have been a physician for 37 years. I spend about 98% of my time treating patients with chronic viral hepatitis C. I enjoy helping as many patients as possible cure this infection. We will treat 500-1000 patients with HCV this year.

My office: 1009A Dupont Square North, Louisville KY 40207  phone: 502-894-9950

The CDC and the US Preventative Services Task Force now recommend that ALL Americans born between 1945 and 1965 be tested one time for HCV. One-third of persons with HCV die from complications of cirrhosis. We can lower the death rate from HCV if we are aggressive in identifying infected patients. Five million Americans are infected. Make sure that your loved ones have been tested once for HCV.

I am an advocate for patients infected with HCV. The medical insurance companies and the Veterans Administration block patients from starting or completing treatment. I have seen many curable patients fail because of this. Stage 3 and stage 4 HCV liver disease is life threatening and should be covered like cancer, heart disease and kidney dialysis. HCV cirrhosis is just as deadly as these other life-threatening diseases. Patients with HCV should not face discrimination and denial of antiviral therapy.

I can give information, but cannot practice medicine over the internet.  Patients with HCV should consult a knowledgeable medical provider who treats large numbers of HCV infected patients.

                                                                      Bennet Cecil, MD