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A New Option When Hep C Treatment Fails

Written by: Darren Young on Monday, June 12, 2017 Posted in: Specialty Pharmacy

The combination drug is 98% effective in previously treated patients.

Although those high-cost hepatitis C medications, such as Harvoni and Sovaldi from Gilead Sciences and Zepatier from Merck, have proven highly effective, there are some patients in whom the treatments have failed. Unfortunately, there are few additional therapeutic options for these patients. However, there may soon be a new alternative, and, so far, the data suggests it’s highly effective in those who have already tried a first-line therapy.

Keep your pharmacy compliant with CareTend!

The new hep C medication is a combination of sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), velpatasvir, and voxilaprevir. When tested as an initial treatment, this combination drug proved no more effective than the current medications. But in those patients who had already been treated for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), it was 98% effective. The data was published June 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Gilead Sciences, which is funding the research, announced in December 2016 that it had submitted a new drug application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this medication, currently referred to as SOF/VEL/VOX. According to a Gilead news release, the FDA considers the daily, single-tablet regimen a “breakthrough therapy,” opening the door for expedited review.

Like Gilead’s other HCV medications, SOF/VEL/VOX will probably be costly, which means your pharmacy will have to be vigilant about tracking and reporting patient outcomes, a critical piece of which is adherence. To ensure that your specialty pharmacy has the tools to provide the highest levels of care and assist HCV patients with adherence, look for CareTend from Mediware.

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