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NICE consults on draft guidance on the drug sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) for treating hepatitis C

In draft recommendations published today healthcare guidance body NICE is asking Gilead Sciences for more information on its product sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. “The available evidence shows that sofosbuvir is an effective treatment for chronic hepatitis C in certain patients. However, evidence is lacking for some subgroups of patients with chronic hepatitis C, and there are also substantial uncertainties in the evidence base presented by the manufacturer.”

Published
16 June 2014
From
NICE press release
Low uptake of HCV treatment in England will lead to substantial disease burden by 2035

Only 3% of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) are treated for their infection each year in England, according to research published in the Journal of

Published
13 June 2014
By
Michael Carter
FDA lifts hold on Achillion's hepatitis C drug, shares jump

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed it to resume the development of one of its hepatitis C drugs, sovaprevir, lifting a clinical hold that was imposed nearly a year ago. The company's shares soared as much 56 percent to $6.65 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. Merck & Co's planned acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, announced on Monday, leaves Achillion as the only unencumbered company developing drugs that block a protein required by the hepatitis C virus to replicate.

Published
11 June 2014
From
Reuters
Why The Hepatitis C Cost Cutters May Have Already Lost

AbbVie’s chief executive has already made comments that were interpreted by reporters as meaning that he will not compete with Gilead on price. But the prospect of a hep C price war got even dimmer yesterday when Merck bought Idenix, a maker of hepatitis C drugs, for $3.9 billion in cash.

Published
11 June 2014
From
Forbes
Why is the $1,000 pill cheaper in the UK?

Will the pricing of hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi cause a crisis in American health care, and why is the price lower in the United Kingdom?

Published
10 June 2014
From
Columbia Journalism Review
Project Inform disappointed with direction of California hepatitis C testing bill

During this current legislative season, Project Inform sponsored California Senate Bill (SB) 1303, authored by Senator Norma Torres — a bill that would require healthcare practitioners in all primary care settings, except hospitals and emergency rooms, to make a one-time offer of a hepatitis C test to patients born between 1945 through 1965 (“Baby Boomers”) and other patients with identified risk factors for hepatitis C. The bill was modeled after legislation passed in New York State, based on hepatitis C testing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

Published
10 June 2014
From
Project Inform
England: New study reveals the costs of low uptake of hepatitis C treatment

While there would be a financial cost to rapidly increasing treatment rates, the increase is not as great as you might think because the costs of managing undiagnosed and untreated hepatitis C are so high. Currently, we are paying a very high price in terms of lives lost and burden placed on future health care resources.

Published
10 June 2014
From
Public Health England (press release)
Why Merck Just Spent $4 Billion On New Drugs For Hepatitis C

Perlmutter says that he believes Merck already had the best of two of the three drugs in the needed triple-drug combo: an NS5a inhibitor and a protease inhibitor. He expect that it may be possible to plan a combination trial of Merck’s drugs and Idenix’s lead nuke even before the deal closes.

Published
09 June 2014
From
Forbes
Medicare Will Cover Hepatitis C Screening in Primary Care Settings

Medicare will cover HCV screening for all adults at high risk and one-time screening for all adults born between 1945 and 1965.

Published
09 June 2014
From
aids.gov
Hepatitis Warrior Hiking in China Shows Glaxo Hurdles

Lei Chuang trekked almost 1,000 miles over 80 days from Shanghai to Beijing last summer, along riverbanks and highways, to deliver a petition beseeching China’s leaders to cut the prices of hepatitis B drugs. “If drug companies can afford such huge sums for bribing doctors and hospitals, then they should still be profitable if prices are lowered by 50 percent,” said Guangzhou-based Lei, nicknamed the “Hepatitis B Warrior” by Chinese media. “They could use that money to benefit patients instead.”

Published
30 May 2014
From
Bloomberg

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