Good morning, I'm Dr. Joe Galati.

Yesterday was a very important day for those of us involved in the care of patients with hepatitis C, as well as the millions of individuals affected by it. I received word yesterday afternoon that the FDA has approved boceprevir for the treatment of G1 CHC in previously untreated patients and patients who have failed previous interferon and ribavirin therapy. Boceprevir is the first in class direct acting antiviral to be FDA approved for CHC. Manufactured by Merck pharmaceutical company, the new drug will be commercially available by the name VICTRELIS.

It is expected that VICTRELIS will be available in your local pharmacy very soon.
Keep in mind these new protease inhibitors are given in combination with interferon and ribavirin.

For the first time in nearly 10 years, we have a new drug to treat and cure those with hepatitis C. The clinical research leading up to its approval is stunning, with the highest success rates ever seen in hepatitis C. This is truly a landmark breakthrough in medicine. For those waiting for "the new drugs to treat hepatitis C", you day has come.

For those patients of ours at Liver Specialists of Texas, I anticipate to be hearing from all of you very soon. It will take time to get all of you scheduled and seen by our hepatitis C treatment team. Call our office to get the ball rolling, and in the meantime, I'd ask that you do the following:

1. Make sure you have all of your old records related to past hepatitis C treatments. It is important to see how you responded previously, and what special attention you may need as we re-treat you.
2. If you have had a prior liver biopsy, an outside facility, do your best to get a copy of the report.
3. When you call the office, we need to know if you have been treated in the past, or naïve (never treated) for hepatitis C.
4. If you have been treated, we'd like to know your past response to therapy. 
5. Were you a null responder, non-responder, or a responder relapser. Again, this will help tailor how you will be treated.
6. When speaking with our staff, let us know if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or received a prior liver or kidney transplant. The more information we have about you, the better we can care for you.

In the next few days, we will have posted on the web a hepatitis C questionnaire, dealing with some of these issues just mentioned. All of are looking forward to an orderly evaluation process for our patients.

If you are going to be new to our practice, additional intake information will be needed and forwarded to you.

All of us at Liver Specialists of Texas are very happy with these developments, and we look forward to caring for you.

Visit our website often as new information will be posted daily.