October 24, 2016
Genotype 3 is the second more common subtype of hepatitis C after genotype 1. In South Asia, genotype 3 accounts for nearly 72% of the infected population. Genotype 3 is also common in Australasia, Central Asia, Western Europe and Latin America. Approximately 10% of hepatitis C patients in the United States are infected with genotype 3.
At first, genotype 3 patients did not respond as well to the new class of medications, especially if they already had some liver damage. These patients would be prescribed a six-month-long course of treatment with sofosbuvir, but cure rates were still not as good as in patients with genotypes 1 or 2.
But then the pan-genotypic drugs daclatasvir and velpatasvir were developed, providing the first good options for genotype 3 patients. Both need to be paired with sofosbuvir for a high cure rate, and velpatasvir is available in combination with sofosbuvir as a single pill (Epclusa).
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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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