Ontario first province to reimburse new chronic hepatitis C treatment
MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontarians living with chronic hepatitis
C now have publicly funded access to a new treatment option, as Ontario
becomes the first province to reimburse VICTRELIS™ (boceprevir). The treatment qualified for a pre-approval rapid review
under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA), as it successfully met a
pre-determined set of criteria, including offering substantial
improvements of significant outcomes for the treatment of a serious
Boceprevir is a first-in-class oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease
inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1
infection. It is to be used in combination with peginterferon alpha and
ribavirin (peg/riba) in adult patients (18 years and older) with
compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously
untreated or who have failed previous therapy.2 When added to peg/riba, boceprevir can significantly increase a
patient's chance of clearing the virus from the body.3,4 The treatment was authorized for use in Canada in July of this year.
"The Canadian Liver Foundation is pleased that Ontario's public drug
program has agreed to reimburse boceprevir for the treatment of chronic
hepatitis C," says Dr. Morris Sherman, Chairman of the Canadian Liver
Foundation. "Boceprevir represents a major advance in our ability to
cure this disease, and as a result, fewer patients will have to
struggle with the consequences of end-stage liver disease, liver
transplants and liver cancer. We applaud the research efforts that led
to this breakthrough and hope other provinces will follow Ontario's
lead and rapidly reimburse this important treatment."
Eligibility criteria for boceprevir can be accessed through the
Hepatitis C in Canada
An estimated 250,000 individuals in Canada are infected with HCV and
there are 3,200 to 5,000 newly infected individuals each year.5 HCV damages the liver and may lead to serious complications, including
death, when left untreated.6 It is the leading cause of liver transplants in Canada.7
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available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).
TM Trademark of Schering Corporation, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Used under license.
Guidelines for Rapid Review Submissions. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/pub/drugs/dsguide/docs/rapid.pdf. Accessed November 15, 2011, p. 1.
VICTRELIS™, Product Monograph, July 27, 2011, p. 3.
Poordad, F., et al., for the SPRINT-2 Investigators. Boceprevir for
Untreated Chronic HCV Genotype 1 Infection.
N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1195-1206, page 1195.
Bacon, B.R., et al., for the HCV RESPOND-2 Investigators. Boceprevir for
Previously Treated Chronic HCV Genotype 1
Infection. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1207-1217, p. 1207.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research. About the Hep C Research
Initiative. http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/38855.html. Accessed November 2, 2011.
Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hepc/pubs/multiling-hepc/index-eng.php. Accessed November 2, 2011.
Canadian Liver Foundation. http://www.liver.ca/Liver_Disease/. Accessed November 2, 2011.
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