October 24, 2016
How Does Genotype Impact Health Outcomes?
Historically, patients with genotype 1 were the most difficult to treat, but that changed with the recent wave of new medicines called direct-acting antivirals. This new generation of drugs, the first of which was approved in 2011, dramatically improved the odds for patients with genotype 1, and new drugs and drug combinations followed.
In June, the FDA announced a major advancement for patients with all genotypes with the approval of a new drug called Epclusa, the first pan-genotypic hepatitis C medication that can be taken as a single pill. "The introduction of Epclusa into the market today presents clinicians who are new to the field a simplicity of treatment, both from the patient's and clinician's perspective," said Hugo Vargas, M.D., chair and director of hepatology of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Today, patients of all genotypes have a good chance of being cured by taking direct-acting antivirals, although some genotypes have been harder to tackle than others. The next six slides will describe the differences between hepatitis C genotypes and which of the new direct-acting antiviral treatments are best for each. Below is a general overview; some patients who have previously tried and failed treatment and those who have some level of liver damage (cirrhosis) may need specialized treatment.
Credit: jarun011 for iStock via Thinkstock.
Sony Salzman is a freelance journalist reporting on health care and medicine, who has won awards in both narrative writing and radio journalism. Follow Salzman on Twitter: @sonysalz.
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