Vancouver, B.C. – (July 28th, 2015) – On World Hepatitis Day, Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN) welcomed the B.C. Ministry of Health’s announcement that it will provide coverage for a new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, Holkira Pak.
The hepatitis C virus is considered one of the most serious public health issues facing Canadians, causing more years of life lost than any other infectious disease in the country. In B.C. alone, for example, there are about 80,000 people currently living with hepatitis C.
Therefore, “the Pacific Hepatitis C Network applauds the addition of new treatments like Holkira Pak to the PharmaCare formulary here in B.C.,” said Daryl Luster, president of the board of the Pacific Hepatitis C Network. “I can say with great certainty that lives will be saved, and the quality of life for thousands of people living with hepatitis C, and their families will be impacted in the most positive of ways due to this action by the Government of British Columbia.”
Holkira Pak is a treatment for patients with chronic genotype 1 hep C, including those with cirrhosis. It is an all-pill, short-course, interferon-free treatment that can be taken with or without ribavirin.
In Phase 3 clinical trials, Holkira Pak (with or without ribavirin) cured an overall 97% of genotype 1 hep C patients, and 98% of patients completed treatment. In Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, the overall rates of treatment discontinuation due to adverse reactions were low (0.2%).
Holkira Pak is the third new hepatitis C drug to be covered by BC’s PharmaCare this year. The other two treatments covered were Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir).