Tag Archives: Canadian Drug Expert Committee

The Pacific Hepatitis C Network‘s News in Review Newsletter

The Pacific Hepatitis C Network‘s News in Review NewsletterWelcome to the Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN)‘s very first hepatitis C news in review newsletter. This is where we review all of the major issues and events around hepatitis C and hep C treatments. It is an email that includes links to all of our recent blog posts—including the blog post about the big news surrounding the hep C treatment Epclusa (generic name: sofosbuvir/velpatasvir).

EPCLUSA RECOMMENDED BY CADTH

Epclusa (generic name: sofosbuvir/velpatasvir), developed by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., just passed its Common Drug Review with the release of the Canadian Drug Expert Committee (CDEC) Final Recommendation. Click here to read more about their recommendation sent to the provinces and territories to help them decide on whether or not to cover the treatment and how to cover it.

HEPATITIS C ADVOCACY HIGHLIGHTS

In October, Daryl Luster wrote two blog posts for the Pacific Hepatitis C Network. Daryl is a hep C advocate who is PHCN’s president, a member of the Executive Steering Committee for Action Hepatitis Canada (AHC), a counselor for the Help-4-Hep helpline, and the administrator of multiple peer support groups. In 2010, Daryl was cured of hep C while participating in a clinical trial. The two blog posts he wrote were:

DAAs: Long Term Effects
AHC BC Regional Meeting: October 18-19

HEP C ABSTRACT HIGHLIGHTS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE LIVER MEETING 2016

The Liver Meeting 2016, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)‘s 67th annual meeting, will be held in a week. Last year’s meeting drew more than 9,500 international hepatologists and hepatology health professionals to San Francisco to discuss the latest treatments and research for liver diseases. This year, Boston, Massachusetts, will be hosting the meeting and, as always, the meeting promises to be exciting.

To celebrate the meeting and all of the amazing discoveries that will be presented, the Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project wrote the following blog posts summarizing and highlighting some of what will be presented about hep C treatments:

The Liver Meeting 2016 Hep C Abstract Highlights (Part1)
The Liver Meeting 2016 Hep C Abstract Highlights (Part2)
Live Stream Sessions from The Liver Meeting 2016

THE BASICS SERIES

The Basics Series by the Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project is a series of blog posts about the very basics about hep C and hep C treatments. So far, the series has five issues, entitled the following:

For more information about the topics in this newsletter, please click on the links, visit PHCN’s Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project, or email us.

Epclusa Recommended by CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee If

Epclusa Recommended by CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee IfEpclusa (generic name: sofosbuvir/velpatasvir), developed by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., just passed its Common Drug Review with the release of the Canadian Drug Expert Committee (CDEC) Final Recommendation for it.

Within the Canadian drug approval process, Health Canada first evaluates a drug’s safety, clinical effectiveness, and its manufacturing process. After which, a Common Drug Review (CDR) by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) compares the drug’s clinical and cost-effectiveness to those of other treatments. This recommendations report is then sent to the provinces and territories to help them decide on coverage.

The Canadian Drug Expert Committee’s Final Recommendation Advocates for Epclusa to be Reimbursed as a Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C if the Following Conditions are Met:
Criterion:
  • Treatment should be started by physicians experienced managing patients w chronic hep C.
Conditions:
  • Reduced price.
The Canadian Drug Expert Committee’s Reasons for their Epclusa Recommendations
  1. Very good SVR/cure rates seen for all genotypes and among treatment-naive and patients who have already, unsuccessfully, tried treatment. The ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, ASTRAL-3, and ASTRAL-4 clinical trials showed that treatment with Epclusa achieved high rates of SVR12 (cure at 12 weeks) for all types of hep C patients, including those who have been considered hard to treat.
  2. “There is insufficient evidence that the new treatment is superior
    to the least costly alternative.”
  3. “The true incremental cost-effectiveness of SOF/VEL versus other interferon (IFN)-free regimens is uncertain in the various patient populations considered.”
Other Noted Discussion Points
  • “The drug plan cost of treatment with the drug under review should not exceed the drug plan cost of treatment with the least costly alternative interferon-free option.”
Reported Research Gaps

Research should look into the following as a high priority:

  • Patients who were activity using drugs and co-infected with HIV or hepatitis B were excluded from the trials submitted to this review.
  • Resistance-associated variants (RAVs) should be examined more as they may influence future coverage criteria.

Epclusa

Epclusa (generic name sofosbuvir / velpatasvir) is the first pan-genotypic hepatitis C treatment, treatment for all 6 hep C virus types, to be approved for use in Canada against all 6 hep C virus types.

Epclusa is made up of 2 direct-acting antivirals, sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. Sofosbuvir is a nucleotide NS5B polymerase inhibitor that directly targets the hep C virus to stop it from making copies of itself in the liver. They attach themselves onto the genetic information, called RNA, to block the virus from multiplying.  Velpatasvir is a NS5A inhibitor that blocks a virus protein, NS5A, that the virus needs for reproducing and various stages of infection.

For more information about Epclusa, CADTH, or any other new and emerging hep C drug, please visit PHCN’s Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project or email.

“We can now cure the majority of HCV-infected patients with a simple, safe and effective 12-week treatment, regardless of genotype or treatment history.” ~Dr. Jordan Feld