Mavyret, a new drug to cure hepatitis C, was approved by the FDA

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Without treatment, the virus can cause liver failure and liver cancer, often requiring a liver transplant or resulting in death. The new drug is a step in advance. Starting late in 2013, Gilead revolutionized treatment with the first pill-only medicines that brought cures in 12 weeks for more than 90 percent of patients but at a huge cost, up to $94,500 for a course of treatment.

new-drug
The new drug Mavyret

Mavyret’s list price without insurance will be $26,400 for eight weeks’ treatment, $39,600 for 12 weeks’ treatment and $52,800 for 16 weeks’ treatment. AbbVie spokesman Morry Smulevitz said the company initially will focus on getting coverage approved by Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. Earlier drugs generally are limited to patients with just one or a few hepatitis C types or at certain stages of the disease. With Mavyret, even patients with severe kidney damage were cured after 12 weeks of treatment, according to AbbVie. However, for patients who previously had hepatitis B infections the new drug may be dangerous reactivating that virus with possibly big problems.

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