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Schering-Plough Gets EU Approval for Hepatitis C Treatment

Drug maker Schering-Plough said Monday it received expanded European approval for a combination therapy of Pegintron and Rebetol to treat hepatitis C patients who are also infected with HIV.

The combination therapy was originally approved in Europe in March 2001 for the treatment of hepatitis C alone. Both drugs are made by Schering-Plough .

The latest approval was based on two clinical studies showing that hepatitis C patients, with HIV, who were given Pegintron and Rebetol had significantly lower amounts of the hepatitis C virus six months after treatment compared with those patients given conventional interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin.

The company said about 40 percent of the 2.5 million people living in Europe with HIV were also infected with chronic hepatitis C.

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