Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M Rice "for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus."

 Harvey J. AlterMichael Houghton and Charles M. Rice 

Thanks to the pioneering work of Alter, Houghton and Rice, and many colleagues who built upon their findings, validated tests that identify HCV carriers and allow the elimination of contaminated blood and blood products are broadly available around the world, and effective drugs have changed the fate of HCV infected patients. HCV induced hepatitis is now in many cases a curable disease and the lesions associated with infection are often reversible. Clinical studies have shown that short-term anti-viral treatment cures more than 95% of the patients, including advanced cases who failed to respond to previous therapeutic modalities. This outstanding achieve-ment has already benefitted millions of individuals worldwide. The remaining obstacles towards the eradication of viral hepatitis are now mostly associated with the lack of broad screening campaigns (according the WHO Global Hepatitis Reports 2017 less than 20% of people with HBV or HCV-associated hepatitis have been adequately diagnosed) and with the high cost of the most effective treatments 


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