Dubai: In what is being hailed by health practitioners as one of the biggest discoveries in five decades in the field of medicine, an international pharmaceutical company has discovered a powerful antiviral drug to treat the deadly disease hepatitis C that will soon be available in the UAE.
Experts in the medical field reacted with excitement at this breakthrough development. “We are very excited and thrilled by this discovery which has far-reaching implications,” said a senior doctor from a leading hospital group in Dubai. ”The mechanism by which this oral drug eliminates the virus in the affected population could hold the key to similar anti-viral medication to eliminate many viral diseases such as other forms of hepatitis, Ebola and, one day, even HIV.”
Dr Chacko George, specialist in Internal Medicine at RAK Hospital, said: “In the case of hepatitis C, 20-30 per cent of the people recover and about the same percentage get chronic liver disease or become carriers and even suffer from cancer. If there is an antiviral drug that can eliminate the virus in about 97 per cent of the first-timers and 93 per cent of those treated earlier, then it is one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of treatment of this disease. This would mean that with this treatment, the infected person will be able to maintain an infection-free state or have such weak copies of the virus which won’t be able to replicate. It would mean a tremendous advancement in the treatment of the disease. It is discoveries like these that keep our medical appetite for discoveries alive.”