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February/March 2015 (vol. 11/5)

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Research Plus

Hepatitis C treatment review

A systematic review of 33 randomised controlled trials and eight cohort studies (published up to May 2014) on new drugs for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection finds sustained virological response (SVR) rates of up to 95% from just 12 weeks’ treatment. Previous treatments involving peg-interferon and ribavirin have achieved SVRs of up to 50%–80%, with lengthy treatment regimes and adverse side effects. The review concludes that patients with HCV genotype 1 should receive either: sofosbuvir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, because of the shorter duration of therapy and high SVR rates (89%–90%); or simeprevir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (SVR = 79%–86%). Those with HCV genotypes 2 and 3 should receive sofosbuvir and ribavirin alone (genotype 2, 12 weeks’ treatment – SVR = 82%–93%; genotype 3, 24 weeks’ treatment – SVR = 80%–95%). 

JAMA 2014; 312(6): 631–640. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.7085

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2015 (vol. 11/5) pp39