Most doctors don't know this, but you can cure hepatitis C. This liver disease devastates the lives of millions of people. And it makes a fortune for the drug companies that know how to maintain it. But, until this year, drug companies never found a cure. Now that has changed.
bination that had amazing results in a British study. When Gilead Sciences Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. put their combination together, it cured every single one of the patients in the trial. Unfortunately, the FDA will probably never approve their cocktail. Here's the story.
In this study, the researchers followed 41 patients with confirmed hepatitis C. All of the patients took a combination of Gilead's sofosbuvir and Bristol's daclatasvir. After taking the drugs for six months, 40 of the patients were virus free and remained so for 12 weeks after the trial finished. The last participant didn't show up for the final appointments, but the researchers tracked him down and he also was virus free.
Unfortunately, the drug combination has two things going against it. It lacks of a late-stage study, which the FDA requires. And the expense of the pills is so prohibitive, it will be out of reach for most patients. Until the drug companies can overcome these two obstacles, the combination will never be available in the U.S.
"It's a conundrum for us," said one of the company executives. "It looks a very promising regimen, it really does. But I'm really not sure it'll see the light of day."
The companies are not willing to work together to develop a late-stage study. Instead, they're focused on duplicating these results with their own drug combination. Gilead appears to have the upper leg on this, as it has a combination that also cured 100% of the participants. But again, the cost is prohibitive.
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I assume the reason the cost is prohibitive is that drug companies aren't used to finding complete cures. A complete cure means the patient will take the drugs for only a short period of time - instead of indefinitely, which the drug companies prefer. Some doctors will try to pull together an off-brand combination to treat patients. But, at this point, there are no safety guidelines. And they don't fully know the side effects of the combination yet.
To me, it's immoral for the drug companies to pursue new drug combinations in their own self-interest when there is an effective combination right in front of them. It clearly shows that they are far more interested in their own bank account than the well-being of their customers. Many people will die because of their greed. They should push to have this combination approved, then start researching ways to make it even better.
But they won't make enough money on the ethical solution. So don't expect to see it any time soon. The good news is that there are natural ways to treat liver disease - including hepatitis C. I'll have more on these in future issues of Nutrient Insider.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.