FDA says Merck drug successfully fights hepatitis
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 8:01 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials say a highly-anticipated drug to treat hepatitis C made by Merck appears to cure more patients in less time than established drugs that have been used for 20 years.
But the agency has questions about how the drug should be combined with older medicines for the maximum effect.
The Food and Drug Administration posted its review of Merck & Co. Inc.’s boceprevir ahead of a public meeting next week to consider whether to approve the medication. The meeting brings to a head more than 15 years of research to find a better therapy for a virus that infects about 3.2 million people in the U.S.
FDA scientists said the two studies submitted by Merck showed patients had undetectable virus levels six months after completing treatment with boceprevir.
Published in The Messenger 5.11.11