Federal health officials have approved a daily pill that can cure the most common form of hepatitis C without the grueling pill-and-injection cocktail long used to treat the virus.
It was not immediately clear how much the drug from Gilead Sciences would cost. But the $1,000-per-pill price tag for the company's previous hepatitis drug has recently drawn scorn from patient groups, insurers and politicians worldwide.
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The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it cleared the new combination pill, Harvoni, for patients with genotype 1 of hepatitis C, a form of the liver-destroying virus that accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. cases. For the first time these patients will not have to take a combination of antiviral pills and shots that causes flu-like side effects.
Gilead Sciences Inc. is based in Forest City, California.