Rembrandt’s painting named "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp". Note the satire; created by showing the doctors with long tangled necks.
The newly FDA approved boceprevir has been projected to cost around $1,100 per week, with telaprevir costing close to the same.(Not including Interferon/ribavirin). According to consumers reports the cost of standard of care is at roughly $600 per week which breaks down to $500 for the Peginterferon and $100 for ribavirin...Read MoreAlso See; Patient Assistance Program
INCIVEK/Telaprevir and VICTRELIS (Boceprevir) Patient Assistance Programs
UPDATED; Jan 2011
It was reported in an article published at Pharma Exec News that in 2009 Vertex has been spent a whopping $143.6 million for "Research and Development" related to Telaprevir .
The New York Times estimates that the cost of telaprevir treatment will be tens of thousands of dollars.
Whats The Bottom Line ?
The buzz is the average cost for treating with Telprevir could be around $70,000 according to a vertex conference in June of 2010.
Additional Costs ? The Rescue Drugs
On this blog is an abstract, citing the cost of rescue drugs during triple therapy.
The data will be presented at the upcoming AASLD.
Adverse Event-Related Treatment Costs Associated with Protease Inhibitor-Based Combination Therapy for Hepatitis
Up to $4825 for anemia (assuming epo use rate of 22%), $2837 for depression, $566 for diarrhea $633 for rash.
In August/2010 we read 90 percent of physicians will be prescribing either Telaprevir or Boceprevir to their patients, and forty percent of pharmacy directors will decide on which drug according to price.
One year after the launch of Telaprevir and Boceprevir, surveyed physicians expect to prescribe triple therapy regimens to 90 percent of their Hepatitis C Virus patients
"Only 10 percent of the pharmacy directors we surveyed do not expect to add telaprevir or boceprevir to their drug formularies," said Decision Resources Analyst Alexandra Makarova, M.D. Ph.D. "The remaining surveyed pharmacy directors are split regarding the choice of the protease inhibitor for addition to their formularies. Twenty-five percent expect to add both telaprevir and boceprevir, while 15 percent will add only telaprevir and 5 percent will add only boceprevir. Forty percent of pharmacy directors will make their choice based on the relative cost of each agent."
Yes, Telaprevir is expensive but the outcome is worth it.
Whats the Cost For SOC or "PegIntron and Pegasys"?.. ,Hepatitis C Drugs Rated By Consumer Reports
"PegIntron could save you $72 to $820 per month over Pegasys, depending on the formulation you need. Most people will be treated for at least 24 weeks (about 5 and a half months), and possibly for 48 weeks (a little over 11 months). So the average savings of PegIntron could be significant, ranging from $403 to $4,592 over 24 weeks to $806 to $9,184 over 48 weeks".
The difference between SOC and Telaprevir is the efficacy shown in treatment experienced patients when adding Telaprevir with SOC therapy. Not only will these drugs save lives ( which is the only bottom line I care about) , but also change the way we treat HCV. (Higher cure rate with shorter treatment duration, the bonus could be less adverse effects. Yes, the cost is high but over time it will cut costs across the board.
Consider transplant costs;
"According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)", estimated charges for liver transplantation are:
Estimated First-Year Charge: $314,600
Estimated Annual Follow-up Charge: $21,900
The Data for Telaprevir:
"Vertex reveals that one of its drugs proved effective for hepatitis C patients who did not benefit from any other treatment.,Telaprevir, the company’s experimental drug, helped 65 percent of hepatitis C patients whose prior therapies were unsuccessful.
This was the last of 3 major phases of telaprevir conducted by Vertex and partner Johnson & Johnson(JNJ), previous ones released in May and August this year".
Boceprevir Direct antiviral therapy for HCV Currently approved treatments for chronic HCV infection are designed to boost the host's immune response to help eradicate the virus. In contrast, Schering-Plough's boceprevir is designed to directly attack the virus by inhibiting protease enzymes that are critical to HCV replication. Clinical studies suggest that it is a potent addition to standard therapies in patients with HCV genotype-1, the most common and hardest form of HCV to treat
From HCV Advocate : Video Update on Boceprevir Top Line Phase III Results: Boceprevir