- Gilead applauds Quebec's Ministry of Health for expanding access to curative hepatitis C therapies to all diagnosed patients, regardless of severity of illness
- Quebec's expanded access includes EPCLUSA®, a 12 week treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C across all six genotypes
- Gilead's new product, VOSEVI™ is now available on the List of Medications
- The removal of the fibrosis level criterion for access furthers Canada's commitment to the World Health Organization's Global Hepatitis C elimination efforts
MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. (Gilead Canada) recognizes the Ministère de la Santé et Services Sociaux du Québec for its leadership in the expansion of access to therapies that treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection. More patients in Québec now have greater access to treatment, regardless of the severity of disease (fibrosis level) to achieve a cure and improve their quality of life. Patients with chronic hepatitis C will no longer have to wait for their disease to progress before starting treatment.
"Expanded access is an important milestone to achieve Canada's commitment to eliminating hepatitis C by 2030," said Kennet Brysting, General Manager of Gilead Canada. "Increasing hepatitis C treatment rates among patients and high-risk populations will help to reduce the burden of illness, the risk of transmission and the significant associated costs to the healthcare system."
More patients now have access to a broad selection of therapies, including all those developed by Gilead Canada – EPCLUSA (velpatasvir/sofosbuvir), VOSEVI (voxilaprevir/velpatasvir/sofosbuvir), HARVONI® (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and SOVALDI® (sofosbuvir). EPCLUSA is a publicly accessible treatment that can be used for patients with hepatitis C infection across all six genotypes, and VOSEVI is approved for use in patients who have failed on a previous direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment regimen.
"We are very pleased that access to treatments is expanded to all diagnosed patients with hepatitis C in our province," says Laurence Mersilian, Executive Director of The Centre and Association for People Living with Hepatitis C (CAPAHC). "We wish to thank and congratulate the Government of Quebec for their continued leadership and commitment to care for those living with hepatitis C."
"We now have the ability to cure the majority of patients with chronic hepatitis C using simple, safe and effective treatments, regardless of genotype or patient history," said Dr. Marie-Ève Morin, Family Physician specializing in addictions and mental health at Clinique Caméléon. "Broader access to these therapies, particularly at the earlier stage of the disease, means that we can move more quickly to help patients achieve a cure and improve their quality of life, while saving valuable funds associated with the significant long-term burden of illness and costs to the healthcare system."
For more information on the expanded access for hepatitis C therapies and VOSEVI, please see the List of Medications: http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/liste_med/liste_med_2018_03_01_en.pdf
About Hepatitis C in Quebec
L'Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) estimates that between 40,000 to 75,000 people in the province could have chronic hepatitis C infection. Between 1990 and 2014, 39,700 individuals were identified with hepatitis C. In 2015, an additional 1,073 cases were identified, thus supporting the importance of access to treatment to prevent the future complications of the disease. There are six genotypes of hepatitis C. Genotype 1 infection is the most prevalent genotype representing 62 per cent of infected individuals. Genotypes 2 and 3 account for approximately 6.9 per cent and 25 per cent of infections, whereas genotypes 4, 5, and 6 are less prevalent in Québec at 6.1 per cent.
In Canada, it is estimated that 250,000 people are living with the disease, with thousands of new cases diagnosed each year.1
Populations at increased risk of hepatitis C infection include: people who inject drugs; baby boomers born between 1945-1975; recipients of infected blood products or invasive procedures in health-care facilities with inadequate infection control practices; people with sexual partners who are infected with hepatitis C; people with HIV infection; prisoners or previously incarcerated persons; and people who have had tattoos or piercings.2
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. is the Canadian affiliate of Gilead Sciences, Inc., and was established in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2006.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risk that physicians may not see the benefits of prescribing SOVALDI, HARVONI, EPCLUSA or VOSEVI. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead's Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
All Canadian product monographs can be found at www.Gilead.ca
SOVALDI, HARVONI, EPCLUSA and VOSEVI are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company's website at www.Gilead.com,
follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
Public Health Agency of Canada. Report on Hepatitis B and C in Canada: 2014.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet. Updated October 2017.
SOURCE Gilead Sciences, Inc.
For further information: Karen M. Chow, National Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., (905) 363-8083