Hepatitis C antivirals push cure rates closer to 100%
The development of oral direct acting antivirals is pushing cure rates closer to 100%. Victrelis (boceprevir) and Inckvek (telaprevir) were released in 2011 but required interferon and ribavirin. They were replaced by Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Olysio (simeprevir) in 2013 allowing treatment of HCV without interferon injections or ribavirin. Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) was released in 2014, followed by Vieira Pak (Ombitasavir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) plus dasabuvir) Daklinza (daclatasvir) and Zepatier, elbasvir and grazoprevir). The next drug likely to be released on June 28th is effective in all HCV genotypes. These are very happy times for patients with hepatitis C.
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