Aids Weekly Plus
Reuters reported last week that a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee approved simeprevir, a hepatitis C drug by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The advisory committee voted 19–0 to approve the drug, which will be used in combination with current hepatitis C drugs peginterferon-alpha and ribavirin. The liver infection, which is transmitted through blood, claims more than 15,000 lives annually in the United States, most often from cirrhosis and liver cancer. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, although it usually does. J&J is testing simeprevir on adults who have not taken any previous medication or who failed previous therapy.