(NEW YORK) — A new hepatitis drug that can be taken in pill form once per day was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday.
The drug is called Sovaldi and is meant to be taken with other existing drugs to treat the main forms of hepatitis C. The new drug works faster and is much simpler to take, HealthDay News says.
About 3.2 million Americans suffer from hepatitis C, which can destroy the liver if left untreated. HealthDay News says that people born between 1945 and 1965 are five times as likely to have hepatitis C.
Current treatments involve weekly injections and can take a year to gain significant ground on the virus. Sovaldi — when combined with the current treatments — cured close to 90 percent of patients in just 12 weeks. Current methods alone cure about 75 percent of patients.
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