Hepatitis B vaccine
New technology to produce protein-based drugs by Chandigarh researchers is likely to lower the drug prices by three to four times.Reuters

Expensive Hepatitis C medicines are likely to become a danger to life for some as they can activate Hepatitis B virus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated.

A warning was issued by the FDA asking that all the patients taking medicines for curing Hepatitis C should get checked for the untreatable Hepatitis B virus.

Doctors too are advised to analyse the Hepatitis C patients for Hepatitis B virus, an NBC news report revealed.

"Doctors should be screening everybody," Dr John Farley, deputy director of FDA's Office of Antimicrobial Products stated.

The Hepatitis C drugs comprises a combination of medicines, which includes: Sovaldi, Technivie, Daklinza and Olysio. These medicines are known as "directly acting anti-virals". These drugs are used to cure other ailments too and are very pricey. A week long treatment for Hepatitis using Harvoni drug costs $94,000 and Sovaldi drug costs $84,000.

Media reports reveal that over 3 million US citizens are suffering from Hepatitis C. Its virus is said to spread using blood as a medium and it might make liver transplantation compulsory.

This warning was published by the FDA post-the-death of 2 Hepatitis C patients. They were consuming the Hepatitis C drugs and one of them even needed a liver transplant. These patients had suffered from Hepatitis B previously and had undergone the treatment for it; revival of the Hepatitis B virus was observed in these patients. This virus could be easily treated in some patients but they proved to be fatal for others.

Around 24 patients who revived the Hepatitis B virus was observed by the FDA from November 2013 to mid-July 2016, their website revealed.

Its found that only 50 percent of all the Hepatitis C patients in the US were tested properly. The Hepatitis B virus is incurable but it can turn inactive and there are chances of people forgetting that they suffered from this disease.

The Food and Drug Association has said in a statement: "They are not sure about the reason for the resurgence of the Hepatitis B virus and also the killer side-effects of Hepatitis C medicines was not noted earlier, because the drug-manufacturing firms did not test the medicines on patients who had Hepatitis B."