Current and future therapies for hepatitis C virus infection

N Engl J Med. 2013 May 16;368(20):1907-17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1213651.


Only 20 years after the discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), a cure is now likely for most people affected by this chronic infection, which carries a substantial disease burden, not only in the United States but also worldwide. The recent approval of two direct-acting antiviral agents that specifically inhibit viral replication has dramatically increased the viral clearance rate, from less than 10% with the initial regimen of interferon monotherapy to more than 70% with current therapy. Moreover, many other drugs targeting viral or host factors are in development, and some will almost certainly be approved in the coming years. The questions of who should be treated and with what regimen will be increasingly complex to address and will require careful consideration. As therapy improves, systemwide identification and care of patients who need treatment will be the next challenge. Because most infected persons are unaware of their diagnosis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended screening for HCV all persons born between 1945 and 1965., It is anticipated that in the course of such a screening process, a large number of persons will be found to be infected with the virus; whether it will be possible to treat all these people is unclear. This article reviews the current therapy for HCV infection and the landscape of drug development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepacivirus / growth & development
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Standard of Care


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha