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Howdy-
still looking for approval date here in Canada, found results from the study and tests- still looking for the dates-

Canadian patients were part of a worldwide study of PEGASYS, the new, investigational, longer lasting from of interferon alfa-2a, developed by Hoffman-La Roche Limited.
This free trial involved more than 10,000 patients in 40 countries, and is open to a wide range of patients at various stages of the disease.
Trial centers include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
PEGASYS has been submitted to Health Canada for approval and is currently under review.
"I'm pleased that we are able to offer early access to PEGASYS for out patients here in Canada," said Dr. Morris Sherman, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. "Long-acting interferon such as PEGASYS are an innovative and effective treatment option from a medical perspective. They also are more convenient for the patient and cause fewer of the unpleasant side effects compared to regular interferon. PEGASYS is the next generation for Canadians with hepatitis C."
Two landmark clinical studies published December 2000 in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that PEGASYS successfully treats the disease even amongst the most difficult to treat patients - those with chronic hepatitis C virus and cirrhosis (liver scarring).
One study of 271 chronic hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis showed that PEGASYS, as compared to standard interferon, increased the ability to clear the virus four fold.

A second study of 531 patients, with and without cirrhosis, showed that the use of PEGASYS cleared the virus in 39 per cent of patients. The results are consistent with the current standard level of care but have fewer side effects and only one injection a week.
"This is welcome news for those Canadians living with hepatitis C, Access to new and improved treatment options is vital if we are to succeed in our fight against this debilitating disease," says Tim McClemont, executive director of the Hepatitis C Society of Canada.
"PEGASYS cured me of the disease. Any program that makes this treatment available to more patients in Canada is great," says Bob Palla, a patient who participated in one of the drug's clinical trials.
In Canada, chronic hepatitis C, recognized as a silent epidemic, is estimated to affect some 300,000 people. Of this total, only about one-third, know they have the disease.
Worldwide, more than 170 million people are infected and it is approximately four times more common that HIV. It is estimated than 20 per cent of people with hepatitis C develop cirrhosis of the liver, which can permanently injured and scar the liver. The scarred liver tissue interferes with the flow of blood through the liver, decreasing normal liver function, which can ultimately lead to liver cancer or death.
Not only are patients with cirrhosis the hardest to treat, but liver failure to hepatitis C-related cirrhosis is the leading cause of liver transplants in Canada



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--Get Outdoors-Enjoy Life----Neil





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