April 9, 2014

EASL – Cost tops the agenda as hepatitis C enters post-interferon world

Provided by EP Vantage

Date April 09, 2014

Scientific questions usually dominate medical meetings – except for the hepatitis C field, in which a long-awaited drug costs $1,000 a day and has cast a long shadow over global access. So it is with Europe’s main liver disease meeting, where specialists are openly wondering about how to deliver the best treatments to patients in even the richest countries of the West.

Gilead SciencesSovaldi can cure as many as nine out of 10 hep C patients, depending on genotype and stage, but its cost has provoked pushback from payers around the world. With even pharmacy benefit managers in the US objecting, this has raised questions about whether this time rich nations will be able to subsidise delivery of a much-needed new drug to developing nations, as has happened in the past.

“This is based on an old model; the HIV model,” said Jean-Michel Pawlotsky, Director of the French National Reference Centre for Viral Hepatitis B, C and delta. “I think the rich will no longer be able to pay for the poor.”

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