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AbbVie’s 8-week hepatitis C drug granted early access in UK

By David Rowlands, May 11 2017 02:28PM

A special Early Access to Medicines (EAMs) status has been granted in the UK to AbbVie’s as-yet-unapproved treatment for hepatitis C.


The glecaprevir/pibrentasivr (g/p) combination is a ‘pan-genotypic’ drug currently under review by the European Medicines Agency, and is part of a rapid evolution in treatments for the potentially deadly liver infection.


AbbVie is looking to compete with Gilead’s Epclusa, which was the first pan-genotypic hep C drug to hit the market last year.


However g/p has one unique selling point for patients without cirrhosis – treatment last just 8 weeks, rather than the 12 that Gilead’s product is licensed for.


AbbVie are hoping to gain final European approval within the next few weeks, but have also taken the opportunity to use the EAMS system to gain faster access to the UK market.


“AbbVie is committed to helping eliminate HCV and so we are delighted to receive the EAMS positive scientific opinion, which will help ensure that eligible patients with limited current treatment options gain access to this therapy as soon as possible,” said Dr Alice Butler, medical director, AbbVie UK.


For this wave of new hep C drugs, however, there are no guarantees of widespread uptake on the NHS, even after NICE approval. That’s because NHS England are keeping a tight rein on spending on the drugs, by limiting access to the treatments and using a tendering system to push down prices among the competing firms.


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Source of information Pharmaphorum.com

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