New York Post reported on November 4, 2013 about a new promising drug for Hepatitis C. However it cautioned:
“Researchers and patients have been disappointed before, when the first two direct-acting antiviral pills, telaprevir and boceprevir, reached the market in 2011. The drugs, which inhibited the virus’s protease enzyme, still required interferon and ribavirin, but they raised the cure rate to about 70 percent.
There was a huge rush to treatment. But doctors now say that side effects were worse than expected, in part because the sickest patients had been excluded from the clinical trials of the drugs.
“A lot of that didn’t come to light until after the drugs were approved,” said Dr. Brian R. Edlin, an associate professor of public health and medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. “Then it turns out they were just horrible.”
It is interesting to know how much money the drugs made for the companies while causing a lot of pain and suffering to the patients. Vertex, maker of telaprevir (Incivek) made $1.6 Billions in 2012 and Merck maker of boceprevir (Victrelis) made $502 Millions in 2012.