Breakthrough: Hepatitis C drug may wipeout symptoms of disease

Hepatitis C drug "Solvadi"

Hepatitis C drug "Solvadi"

DENVER — Kim Bossley has been living with the liver disease hepatitis C for all of her life.

She says the condition left her feeling tired and depressed, something that made life a challenge for the mother of two.  Kim says, “When you’re diagnosed with hepatitis C,  it’s basically a death sentence, depression sets in.”

Kim contracted the disease at birth when her mother received a blood transfusion.  She was the first baby in the nation to be born to a kidney transplant patient.

She was diagnosed in 2005. Kim says she didn’t let the disease stop her from reaching her goal of running a metal plating business. She had to make adjustments though and explains, “I had to a makeshift bed put up so I could sleep when I needed to.”

Kim found hope in a drug called Sovaldi when she was chosen to participate in clinical trials at the University of Colorado Hospital. The results were amazing. Kim’s viral load had been 17 million before the trial, but within a week of treatment, the virus was undetectable.

Dr. Greg Everson says the success of the drug will have a drastic impact on the lives of millions of people with hepatitis C, including 50,000 in Colorado.

He says, “With a success rate exceeding 90 percent, the future for treating (hepatitis C) in the future is now looking extremely bright.”

Sovladi must be used with traditional drugs. The drawback of the therapy is the astronomical cost … $1,000 per day. Most people must take the regimen for 12- 24 weeks.  The end cost can run as much as $84,000.

Patients must be tested after going off the drug for 12 weeks. If they are still free of the virus, then they are considered to be cured.

Kim says this has given her and her family a chance at realizing their dreams and says, “to know that I was part of a ground breaking drug (trial) I was ecstatic.”

Kim continues to help raise awareness about hepatitis C through her foundation, named after her mother who died from the disease in 2006.

She also wants to raise financial support for those who will need assistance in affording the new drug.

Hepatitis C is spread through the contact of blood from a person who has the virus.  Learn more about how to avoid infection and how to identify the symptoms.

See more information about the drug Sovaldi here.