New drugs, price war provide hope for hepatitis C patients

Sallie Wickens’ life followed a death-defying narrative that traced the medical arc of hepatitis C:

A blood-transfusion infection after a car accident in 1959, when she was 5; a positive test for the virus when she was 30; 10 years of deteriorating health; a debilitating course of interferon drug treatments that didn’t work; a liver so damaged she needed a transplant.

And then, her doctor, hepatologist Laura Alba, walked into an exam room last month at St. Luke’s Hospital and gave Wickens, 60, a big smile.

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