| By Theresa Clift |

Margaret Dudley, 61, begins her morning like many others — with a cup of coffee and a scan of Internet news sites. Unlike most, though, she’s looking for a headline she believes could save her life. Then she spends her day trying to make it happen, pushing research firms to speed their work on promising drugs.

It has been her routine since September, when she was shocked to receive a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C, or HCV.

She might find the news she’s looking for sooner than she expects. Half a dozen companies are doing trials for drugs that could work faster and without the side effects of current treatment.

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