Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6993.1546 (Published 10 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1546

A trial in France of treating hepatitis C with different regimens of interferon alfa has shown that prolonging the treatment for 18 months gives the best results (New England Journal of Medicine 1995;332:1457-62). When a normal serum alanine aminotransferase activity was used as a marker of success around 22% of patients given prolonged treatment remained well at follow up extending for 42 months, as against 10% of those given treatment for six or 12 months. The high dose treatment for 18 months costs up to $10000 for the drug alone; the improvement in outcome is small. The journal concludes that better ways are needed of identifying patients with a poor prognosis and those likely to respond well to treatment.

The epidemic of operations for glue ear reached a peak in the late 1980s and is now declining, says a report in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health” (1995;49:234-7). An analysis of data from 13 health districts showed a decline of 12.6%. This pattern is typical of health care technologies, says the report: overenthusiastic application is followed by the use of more stringent criteria. The 10 …

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