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Adding Ribavirin to Harvoni for Hepatitis C Increases Side Effects But Not Efficacy

Combining sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) with ribavirin was associated with a greater likelihood of adverse events and laboratory abnormalities, but did not significantly increase the chances of sustained response for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis patients compared to sofosbuvir/ledipasvir alone, according to an analysis of the Phase 3 ION trials described in the July edition of Hepatology.

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Viekira Pak Regimen Cures 100% of Genotype 1b Hepatitis C Patients with Cirrhosis

All participants in the TURQUOISE-III trial, which enrolled HCV genotype 1b patients with compensated liver cirrhosis, achieved sustained virological response using AbbVie's Viekira Pak or "3D" regimen without ribavirin, according to a company announcement this week.

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CROI 2015: Good Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Adherence in SYNERGY and ERADICATE Trials

Overall adherence rates ranged from 96% to nearly 100% in 2 clinical trials of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) treatment in an urban population of hepatitis C and HIV/HCV coinfected patients traditionally considered difficult to treat, researchers reported at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. Adherence dropped off over time, however, underlining the importance of short-duration therapy.

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ASCEND Study Looks at Community-based Hepatitis C Treatment

A new trial sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health will evaluate whether primary care physicians and other health care providers such as nurse practitioners can provide interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C as effectively as hepatologists or infectious disease specialists. If successful, community-based care could greatly expand the number of people able to access treatment.

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Merck Plans to Discontinue Boceprevir for Hepatitis C by December 2015

Merck will stop selling its HCV protease inhibitor boceprevir (Victrelis) by December of this year, and no new patients should be started on the drug, the company announced in a recent "Dear Healthcare Professional" letter. While the first-generation HCV protease inhibitors improved the effectiveness of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, they are no match in terms of efficacy or tolerability for the newer interferon-free combinations approved over the past 2 years.

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