FDA Expert Panel Recommends Hepatitis C Drug

WASHINGTON (October 25, 2013)—An expert panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers Friday voted unanimously in favor of a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences that holds promise for millions of Americans infected with the liver-destroying virus.

All 15 members of the FDA's panel of virus experts voted to recommend approval of Gilead's pill to treat several forms of hepatitis C that account for most cases in the U.S.

About 3 million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease that causes liver damage and is blamed for 15,000 deaths annually.

Current treatments can require as much as a year of therapy and only cure about three out of four patients.

Gilead's daily pill can cure as many as 90 percent of patients with the most common form of the virus in just 12 weeks.

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