MONTREAL, March 25, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Centre and Association for People Living with Hepatitis C (CAPAHC) welcomes the decision by British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Yukon to add Harvoni (sofosbuvir/ledipasvir) to the lists of medications that are covered by their public drug plans.
"We welcome the decision of these provinces to reimburse Harvoni for patients who need it, and we truly hope that the Quebec government will come to the same conclusion soon," says CAPAHC president Me Stéphane Jacques. "Harvoni offers high cure rates, reduces the treatment duration to as little as eight weeks and reduces side effects as it eliminates the need for interferon and ribavirin. For patients struggling with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1, it is now possible to cure the disease more quickly than before and with significantly less discomfort."
Harvoni is the first and only once-daily, single tablet regimen for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 in adults. Access to this drug as a therapeutic option marks a turning point in the treatment of the disease. In Quebec, it is estimated that there are 50,000 patients living with chronic hepatitis C.
According to CAPAHC, access to new drugs is essential to allow health professionals to provide the most appropriate treatment advances to their patients. Last year, Quebec reached a major milestone when it authorized the reimbursement of some hepatitis C treatments and CAPAHC wishes to emphasize the importance of pursuing efforts in this direction. The Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) is expected to share its recommendation about Harvoni within the next few months.
Founded in 2003, CAPAHC provides support to people infected or affected by Hepatitis C, people co-infected with HIV/HCV, and their loved ones. It promotes overall health through prevention and understanding of the hepatitis C virus and other related illnesses to its community without discrimination. CAPAHC also designs and implements information, awareness and educational programs.
SOURCE Centre d'aide aux personnes atteintes de l'hépatite C (CAPAHC)
For further information: Laurence Mersilian, General Manager, 514-521-0444