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Hep C Drugs in 2016: More Combos and Lower Cost

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. January 11, 2016

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While some exciting new drug combos are on the approval horizon, cost concerns will drive interest in Hepatitis C treatment for 2016.
Hep C Drugs in 2016: More Combos and Lower Cost

Hepatitis C treatment has improved dramatically in the past few years. More than ever before, eliminating the Hepatitis C virus from the bloodstream is now accompanied by favorable odds. Efforts to eradicate this virus have been steadily gaining momentum, as the pharmaceutical industry has made Hepatitis C drug development a priority. In 2016, we anticipate this trend will continue. Newer, safer, more effective and more affordable treatments are expected to emerge, besting the progress made in 2015.

Progress

Hepatitis C drug progress over the past three years is impressive:

  • In 2012, the standard of care for Hepatitis C infection was combination treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin; a regimen that lasted about six months, was associated with severe side effects and was only about 50 percent effective.
  • In 2015, the standard of care was Harvoni (sofosbuvir and ledipasvir), Viekira-Pak and ribavirin, Daklinza and Sovaldi, or Olysio and Sovaldi for three months – and is between 80 and 95 percent effective.

Unfortunately, all of the medications that constitute the standard of care in 2015 are prohibitively priced in the U.S. A three-month course of Hepatitis C treatment typically runs between $80,000 and $120,000. The cost of the drugs set the stage for a battle between patients and health insurers.

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http://hivandhepatitis.com/hcv-policy-advocacy/5522-sofosbuvirdaclatasvir-combination-could-be-produced-for-200-per-hepatitis-c-cure, Sofosbuvir/Daclatasvir Combination Could Be Produced for $200 per Hepatitis C Cure, Keith Alcom, Retrieved January 3, 2016, HIVandHepatitis.com, 2016.

http://hcvadvocate.org/news/NewsUpdates_pdf/Advocate_2016/advocate0116.pdf, Happy New Year! – Top News 2015, Alan Franciscus, Retrieved January 3, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/pros-cons-new-hepatitis-treatments-patients/, Pros and Cons of New Hepatitis C Drugs, Anne Harding, Retrieved January 3, 2016, Everyday Health Media, LLC, 2016.

http://www.hepmag.com/articles/2512_18756.shtml, Hepatitis C Treatment-Naïve Recommendations, Retrieved January 3, 2016, Smart + Strong, 2016.

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