© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Source: Landmark FDA Approval Of Hepatitis C Drug | Shortages In Breast Milk

Flickr user @doug88888

In the first segment:

On Friday the FDA approved a new drug that, when taken in conjunction with other older remedies, cures 95 percent of Hepatitis C patients in a fraction of the time the old treatment regimen did. Hepatitis C, the liver degenerating disease, affects over three million U.S. citizens, and, surpassing HIV, last year killed over 15,000 people.

Sovaldi is the name of the drug which will replace Interferon treatments that, while effective, takes much longer and is characterized with several side effects including fatigue, flu like symptoms, rashes and mood changes, according to the FDA and other government agencies.

Dr. Fred Poordad is a liver specialist from the UT Health Science Center who conducted the studies earlier this year, which showed a 95 percent cure rate.

In the second segment: 


At as much as $6 an ounce, breast milk could be big business in this country. With the rise of onlythebreast.com and other sites, women incapable or unwilling to breast feed, but who recognize the benefits, have options for their kids.  

In October a study in the Journal of Pediatrics caused a furor, showing the unpasteurized milk from these sites were often times laden with high amounts of potentially dangerous bacteria like salmonella.

Milk banks do exist to provide breast milk to hospitals across the country. They warn of the problems associated with these types of websites. Some advocates say they will still use the service despite potential issues since pasteurization eliminates some of the benefits of the milk.

What are the health benefits to breastfeeding? Would you trust the safety of online breast milk enough to give it to your child?

Joining us to talk about this is Rachel Jacob, a dietician at University Health System who works with neonates and infants.

Also joining us is Kim Updegrove, executive director of Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin and president of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

* The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM - audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive