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Pegalated Inteferon Approval Soon? Three questions...
Jan 19, 2001

Three questions regarding Peg Interferon: Do you have any idea when pegalated interferon will be approved by the FDC? I've had a liver biopsy and mildly elevated enzymes. My GI doc has left it up to me as to when to begin therapy. The biopsy results were OK - on as scale of 1 to 10, he would rate my liver about a 3. I tested non-A, non-B about 20 years ago. HCV viral load is about 500.000. HIV <50 and T-cells hovering around 150 on a slow downward trend. The question is should I wait for pegalated interferon's approval? Or should I bite the bullet and start combo therapy now? My hesitation is based on the impression that peg is more easily tolerated in terms of side effects, that once a week injections make it more likely that I'll stick to the schedule and that peg seems more effective. In addtion, I've been offered participation in a three arm study comparing peg with ribavirin, non peg with ribavirin and peg without ribavirin. Being a blinded study, the possiblity of no ribavirin does not seem very attractive to me. Do you have an opinion? Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Actually, the study is a pretty good deal. Peg by itself is pretty good but better with ribavirin. We are expecting approval of the peg first quarter this year. Decision is still yours. I am a big advocate of clinical trials. DTD

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