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Hep C Drugs in 2016: More Combos and Lower Cost

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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.

Two New Combos

New, effective drugs entering the Hepatitis C marketplace will also cause the cost of the current treatments to drop. Two drug combinations with reportedly high success rates are very close to FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) approval.

  1. At the end of January 2016, Merck’s combination of elbasvir and grazoprevir is expected to earn FDA approval. The brand name of this drug is Zepatier and trials demonstrate cure rates of up to 99 percent in genotypes 1, 4 and 6.
  2. Gilead’s sofosbuvir plus velpatasvir have completed Phase 3 trials and have posted cure rates of 97 to 100 percent in genotypes 1 through 6. This combination is expected to be FDA approved in 2016. Sofosbuvir plus velpatasvir is encouraging for all genotypes but especially genotype 3 with cirrhosis, where the cure rate was 91 percent.

Knowing that Merck and Gilead both have new Hepatitis C treatment regimens likely to be approved, the outlook for conquering this virus is great. In addition, pressure to reduce the treatment cost is expanding. Hopefully, 2016 will host the decline of Hepatitis C treatment prices in the U.S. If not, we are likely to witness Americans taking treatment vacations to countries that have been able to secure generic versions of the current Hepatitis C medications.

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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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