(Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday said it had approved a hepatitis C drug for use in patients with a rare, life-threatening genetic condition that can cause severe liver damage.
The approval is the latest indication that the U.S. is moving toward a faster, more effective approach to the pandemic.
“This is a powerful vaccine that is going to give the United States a fighting chance in this pandemic,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a televised speech.
The U.K.-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and the U tokani pharmaceutical company said they would jointly produce the drug.
The two companies said the approval will help prevent the spread of hepatitis C.
In April, the U and the European Union approved the first treatment for hepatitis C, a new vaccine.
The United States has not approved a new hepatitis C medication since 2009.
In the past two years, the United Nations and World Health Organization have been urging the government to start the approval process for the vaccine.
Since 2010, about 500,000 Americans have died of hepatitis.
Since the drug was approved, the number of new cases has fallen to about 50,000 a year.
The White House said the U was taking steps to ensure the drug would not cause a resurgence in the pandemics.
The drug will be available for purchase by the end of July and will be administered in four weeks, Guterre said.
The government will also begin distributing a vaccine to U.A.E. countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.