Hepatitis C Drug Approved By European Union

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European Union regulators approved Merck & Co.’s hepatitis C drug Victrelis, the company said Monday.

The ruling allows Merck to market Victrelis in all 27 European Union countries. Victrelis is a pill taken three times per day, and it blocks an enzyme that helps the hepatitis C virus reproduce.

It was approved for use in combination with standard drugs in patients who are untreated or have failed on other treatments. Victrelis is given with Roche’s injected hepatitis C drug Pegasys and ribavirin pills.

U.S. regulators approved Victrelis on May 13.

Shares of Merck dropped 60 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $35.33 in afternoon trading amid a broad market retreat.

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