NICE Backs Hep C Drug Zepatier After Merck Offers Price Discount
UK HTA gives provisional backing to Merck’s once-daily fixed-dose hepatitis C combo Zepatier after the US drug maker offers an undisclosed price cut.
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While a dwindling patient base and pricing pressures are depleting the market opportunity in hepatitis C, Merck's decision also may result from regulatory dialogue potentially delaying the start of a Phase III study.
The UK's health care cost-assessment body finds Gilead's newest combo, Epclusa, cost-effective in most HCV settings. J&J/Achillion now have 12-week SVR data for six-week treatment regimen, and AbbVie builds support for an eight-week regimen for Viekirax.
Merck & Co. gained the FDA's go-ahead on Jan. 28 to market Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) as a treatment for adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes (GTs) 1 or 4 infection, with or without ribavirin (RBV).