Finally in the news this week is a story about a new, experimental drug treatment that could turn the tables on one of our most insidious blood borne pathogens, hepatitis C. If you recall, earlier this year, I covered a review of hepatitis here on the Nursing Show. You can check that episode out in the link I’ll provide in the show notes.
New Injectable Hep C Drug
Researchers are cautiously optimistic that the injectable drug Miravirsen might join the current oral drug cocktail used to treat the disorder. Early trials show that the drug significantly reduced viral levels in patients with hepatitis C. The drug works by suppressing molecules necessary for viral replication and appears in the initial trials to do so without developing drug resistance as has occurred with other drug therapies.
Hepatitis C affects about 170 million people around the world and is particularly known among the health care community because of its ease of blood borne transmission from needle sticks and other exposures in the workplace. It is month the leading causes of liver cancer and liver failure and is often symptomless until well into the disease process.
Promising Results, Compliance Issues
This drug, in the tests so far, reduced the viral load by 500 times the control group. Researchers caution that this is with a small population and that further testing is needed but they are hopeful that the drug will be effective in treating the disease as the process continues. Some experts are cautious citing compliance issues with an injectable drug when compared to current oral medications that work nearly as well.
We shall see how this works out as the research continues.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Preparedness Alerting Technology and Episode 238.