Ribavirin, Sovaldi, and PharmaCare

Ribavirin (brand name Ibavyr)Ribavirin (brand name Ibavyr) as a stand-alone pill is now being used with Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) to create an interferon-free combination.

A patient support program, the Ibavyr Patient Support Program, is available to Canadians who have been prescribed ribavirin as part of their hep C treatment.

More information about BC’s PharmaCare eligibility for Sovaldi and ribavirin, including information about  the Ibavyr Patient Support Program, can be found on the Hep C Treatment Information Project’s newest page Ribavirin (Ibavyr).

Traditionally, ribavirin has been part of a treatment combination with pegylated interferon (Pegasys). However, with Sovaldi, it now  creates an interferon-free treatment combination for genotype 2 and 3 hep C. This combination is covered by BC’s PharmaCare as a limited coverage drug.

Length of Treatment:
Patients Treatment # of Weeks
Genotype 2 patients who have never tried treatment AND who can’t take interferon for medical reasons OR have already tried pegylated interferon with ribavirin (PR)* Sovaldi + ribavirin 12
Genotype 3 patients who have never tried treatment AND who can’t take interferon for medical reasons OR have already tried PR Sovaldi + ribavirin 24
*Genotype 2 or 3 patients who have tried treatment are patients who have previously been treated with pegylated interferon with ribavirin and did NOT receive adequate responses. Similar treatment lengths are also used to treat genotype 2 or 3 HCV patients co-infected with HIV.

Ribavirin is a nucleoside analogue. Proposed mechanisms of ribavirin against the hep C virus include hindering viral replication and adjusting the body’s immune response to a desired level (immunomodulation). It is used in combination with other agents, such as Sovaldi, to stop viruses from reproducing and spreading.