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The Food and Drug Administration approved Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s hepatitis C drug Incivek Monday, making Incivek the second new treatment to be approved in the last two weeks.

Incivek is a highly-anticipated pill that is expected to have annual sales in the billions. It is approved for patients who have some liver damage from hepatitis C who either have not been treated, or were not cured by other drugs. Incivek is a pill taken twice per day, making it more convenient than older intravenous therapies. The Cambridge, Mass., company has already started promoting the drug in advance of approval.

Incivek and Merck & Co's Victrelis, which was approved earlier this month, are the first new treatments for the liver disease to be approved in 20 years.

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