New medication Sovaldi makes Hepatitis C treatment faster and easier.
Sovaldi approved by FDA as treatment for Hepatitis C genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4
Sovaldi may take as little as 12 weeks to treat
Sovaldi, generically named sofosbuvir, is touted as a revolutionary part of hepatitis C treatment that lasts a mere 12 weeks in some cases. Sovaldi is approved for use for genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4, in combination with other treatment options. One study reports that 89% of genotype 1 patients were cured after a 12 week treatment including Sovaldi.
Sovaldi is taken once per day, and is reportedly well tolerated. Adverse effects reported were generally minimal and mild. The most commonly reported side effects were fatigue, headache, and nausea. The cost may be the biggest adverse effect, ringing in at $28,000 per month.
“I believe that Sovaldi will have a major impact on public health by significantly increasing the number of Americans who are cured of hepatitis C,” said Ira Jacobson, MD, Chief of the Division of astroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City and a principal investigator in the Sovaldi clinical trials. “In clinical studies, Sovaldi in combination with other agents achieved very high cure rates while shortening the duration of treatment to as little as 12 weeks and reducing or completely eliminating the need for interferon injections, depending on the viral genotype.”
Chronic hepatitis C affects nearly 4 million people in the United States. Many individuals experience mild to no symptoms. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. It is recommended that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C
“It is our hope that Sovaldi will mark the beginning of a new era in hepatitis C treatment. Gilead is proud to have played a role in bringing about this important therapeutic advance and we would like to extend our thanks to the many patients and physicians who partnered with us on Sovaldi’s clinical studies,” said John C. Martin, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences.