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The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug called Epclusa which is developed to treat all genotypes of the Hepatitis C virus, not just a few.
The federal health officials approved the particular drug developed by Gilead Sciences for patients who have liver damage due to the virus and even the ones who don’t have the damage yet.
Reports state that the drug is easy to use and helps in treating all strains of the liver-destroying virus. FDA had recently approved five other Hepatitis C drugs for the different strains of the virus, if Gilead’s claim is right, this one drug could help in treating all those five strains.
According to federal estimates, around 2.7 million people in the United States are affected with the Hepatitis C virus. The virus caused more than 19,000 deaths across states in the year 2014.
Epclusa is a combination drug of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. This new drug is the first to be introduced in the market that claims to treat all types of Hepatitis C strains. So, how many are there? There are six different types of stains and there are different drugs available in the market targeting each strain. Before Epclusa there was no drug available in the market which could treat all the six strains.
With the announcement of FDA’s approval go Epclusa, Gilead’s shares closed up to 5% on Tuesday. Gilead’s previous drugs on Hepatitis C that were introduced in the market were also very popular as they replaced older and less effective treatment. According to the firm, Epclusa will cost around $74,760 for a 12-week course of treatment, which means that one pill will cost around $890.
Epclusa also showed positive results during its trial, it was noted that the drug was successful in curing at least 98% of the patients with different strains of the Hepatitis C virus. The findings of the trial were observed in phase II trials over the course of 12 weeks.