Tag Archives: ribavirin

Technivie Now Approved for Use

TechnivieTechnivie (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) with ribavirin  is now an approved hepatitis C treatment in Canada!

Health Canada has granted the treatment Technivie with ribavirin a Notice of Compliance (NOC) for treating adult patients with chronic hep C genotype 4 without cirrhosis and who have never tried treatment or who have previously been treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

A Notice of Compliance

Receiving a Notice of Compliance allows a treatment to be sold in Canada with official approval. If a drug has a Notice of Compliance a doctor may prescribe it – but at this stage the new drug combination is still not available on public drug plans, like BC PharmaCare. Private insurers each decide company coverage of the new drug (i.e. what percentage of the drug costs they will cover).

For more information about Technivie (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir), or any other new and emerging hep C drug, please visit PHCN’s Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project or email.

New Viral Load Testing and Genotyping Recommendations

Viral Load Testing and Genotyping RecommendationsThe BC Centre for Disease Control’s New Viral Load Testing and Genotyping Recommendations

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has published new viral load testing recommendations for those taking one of the following hep C treatments:

BCCDC Recommends Viral Load Tests be Done:
  • No more than 6 months before starting treatment
  • Right after treatment
  • 12 weeks after treatment
  • 24 weeks after treatment
BCCDC Viral Load Testing Recommendations for those taking Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin are:
  • No more than 6 months before starting treatment
  • Week 4 of treatment for those with hep C genotype 2
  • Week 4 and 12 of treatment for those with hep C genotype 3
  • Week 12 after treatment to confirm a cure
  • Week 24 after treatment to confirm a cure
BCCDC Hep C Genotyping Recommendations
  • Prior genotyping results for those with genotypes 2 – 6 should be considered valid
  • Patients with genotype 1 hep C should be retested before treatment. This is because genotyping done before May 2012 did not discriminate between genotypes 1a and 1b well enough.
  • When considering Galexos (simeprevir) for treatment, a Q80K resistance test is needed
  • Genotype testing should be done before retreating
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides both direct diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities.

For more information about hep C treatments please visit PHCN’s Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project or email.

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.