Study says interferon not effective for longterm treatment of hepatitis C

12/9/2008

NEW YORK The drug interferon does not effectively slow the progression of liver disease associated with hepatitis C infection, according to study published Monday.

The three-year study, conducted at nine institutions and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that hepatitis C patients using the drug fared no better than those who did not use the drug.

Hepatitis C affects 170 million people globally, including about 1 percent of the United States population. It can lead to liver cancer, liver failure and cirrhosis, but there is no vaccine.

Several companies market formulations of interferon under various brand names, including Biogen and Roche.

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