>Breaking News: On February 10, 2014, Gilead announced that it submitted an application to the FDA for approval of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, a fixed-dose combination pill to treat genotype 1 hepatitis C. Patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C had a 93-99% chance of a virologic cure with 8 to 12 weeks of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, depending on prior treatment history and whether they have cirrhosis. This is WITHOUT interferon or ribavirin. Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir is generally well tolerated with mostly mild side effects (fatigue/headache).

AbbVie is just behind Gilead in getting its hepatitis C drug regimen to market. Analysts are guessing that the AbbVie regimen will also be interferon/ribavirin free, and for genotype 1 patients. The response rates and side effects are similar. Perhaps the competition will drive the price down?

My guess is that the Gilead drug will be approved in the last quarter of 2014, and AbbVie will be shortly after. Now with that sweet news, here is my blog for the week...

Listening to the Heart Rather Than to Hepatitis C

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Living with hepatitis C is not for the faint of heart. It takes an act of courage to confront hepatitis C and embrace life rather than to succumb to the symptoms of living with a virus that replicates a trillion times a day in the liver.

When I had hepatitis C, I had days when the only words I heard were fear, illness, and death. “What if hepatitis C takes over, what if my brain always stays foggy, what if I never have any energy?”  These are words of the mind, not of the heart. These thoughts constricted and pressed on me, keeping me in the problem rather than showing me the way out.

Listening to hepatitis C and fear is not the path to truth. The way out is to listen to the heart. The heart does not lie. Spend a quiet moment listening to your heart. Listen to bird sounds, the rain on the window, or some favorite music. Let the sun warm your face. Read inspiring words, call a friend. Let your heart lead you to health.

This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift from the heart. Don’t listen to fear and despair. Listen to the voice of hope. Write it on your heart. Throw in some dark chocolate for good measure.