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Jessica Kourkounis / AP

Drugs approved in recent years that can cure hepatitis C may have severe side effects, including liver failure, according to a new report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. The report, which the NYT has analyzed in depth, looks at 9 popular antiviral drugs, including the widely used Sovaldi and Harvoni — both made by Gilead Sciences and priced at $1k per pill. The drugs have been successful for many patients in curing the disease within 12 weeks.

Disclaimer: The number of risks appear relatively low, and the findings are not conclusive. But experts say the report is a warning that shouldn't be ignored. Thomas Moore, an author of the report, said the study reflects a larger question about the drug approval process. Approval for the newer hepatitis C drugs was expedited because better treatments were so badly needed.

Why it matters: Hepatitis C drugs like Sovaldi carry a huge price tag, but they've also been a point of pride for the drug industry — since they can cure a disease that wasn't curable before. That, in their view, was a good justification for the price. But if the drugs cause horrible side effects, it may be harder to make that case.

Go deeper

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Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

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Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

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