A researcher named Harvey J. Alter should be given credit for the research in post transfusion hepatitis cases. The study was performed in the 1970s at Department of Transfusion Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Previous international researches had identified the viruses as non-A, non-B hepatitis, which is also called NANBH.
In the late 1990s, Michael Houghton, Qui-Lim Choo, and George Kuo in collaboration with Dr. D. W. Bradley gave rise to molecular cloning approach to identify the root cause of the disease.
In 1988, Alter found the presence of the virus in panel of the NANBH specimens. Finally, in 1989, the virus was named hepatitis C virus or HCV. The journal Science confirmed this discovery.
In 1990, a well known court war between Chiron and Bradley; mediated by CDC, raised the issue of patents related to the virus and its diagnosis.
After this, in 2000, Dr. Alter and Houghton were given Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research. This was like a respect given for the outstanding discovery of the virus, and the development of screening methods. This incredible work resulted in decreasing the number of cases of hepatitis caused by tainted blood transfusion from 30 percent in 1970 to almost zero in 2000.
Again in 2004, Chiron pointed many companies for encroachment. A dramatic scenario was introduced when steps were taken as a means of blocking treatment for hepatitis C. This was primarily done because many pharmaceutical companies were looking to make money and were demanding a large amount for the treatment. However, it was in vain.
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