Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Health Canada Clears Victrelis-Boceprevir New Hepatitis C Drug

VANCOUVER — A new drug, recently approved by Health Canada, brings a cure closer for the 250,000 hepatitis C sufferers across Canada.

Boceprevir — brand name victrelis — when added to current standard therapy has been shown to have higher cure rates in studies published early this year by the New England Journal of Medicine.

A similar drug, telaprevir, is under 'priority review' at Health Canada.
"Given the prevalence of the disease, this is a significant development" said Dr. Alnoor Ramji, clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. "The new medicine is part of a new generation of drugs that offer patients a greater hope for a cure."

The approval is just what Abbotsford resident Chris Robinson, 51, has been waiting for since he was diagnosed with cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C infection last year.
"I asked the doctor, what this drug will do and he said, 'It will cure you'," said Robinson.
Robinson's doctors have withheld treatment to date, as the advanced nature of his condition made current treatments risky.

Unlike current treatments that work by boosting the immune system, this new type of drug works directly against the virus by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs in order to replicate, said Ramji — who was also involved in the clinical trials of boceprevir in Canada.
"When added to the current cocktail of drugs, the new drugs take the effectiveness rate to 67 per cent from the current rate of about 40 per cent," said Ramji.
The other advantage, he said, is that these treatments have the potential to shorten the treatment period — from 48 weeks to about 28 weeks — depending on the response of the patient, reducing the impact of serious side-effects.

Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted through the blood. It infects the liver, causing it to become inflamed and preventing it from working properly. It is often the cause of severe liver disease including cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Fever, fatigue, reduced appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), nausea and vomiting, aching muscles and joints, poor concentration, anxiety and depression are some of the symptoms.

There is no vaccine against hepatitis C and it can be acquired in numerous ways, including sharing razors, toothbrushes and scissors with an infected person. Injection drug use — current or past — is the cause of approximately 60 per cent of infections in Canada.
© Copyright (c)

The Vancouver Sun Read more here


  1. I have been waiting for this but will it be covered under most Canadian Health Plans or by Trillium (ontario) if not at $1045.00 per week it is only a cure for the rich and famous and my chances of getting it about the same as winning the lottery. This cost does not include the cost of the other two drugs that you need to take along with it. A cure for many? only if you can afford it

  2. We ask in Monterial about a new drug for virus C and they said there is no new drugs,I took Peginterferon alfa-2a 1.8 and Ribavirin 1200 everyday for 48 weeks ,the vieus disapeared but after 6 month it return .
    We want your advices because we heared about a new drugs support the ribavirin to destroy the virus.

  3. I have been sick with the Hep-C Virus since may of 2005 & only have a few more years to live (Doctors tell me), I NEED to know WHEN will the treatment Boceprevir or Telaprevi be approved & be coverd by ANY Canadian Health Plan! Please SOMEONE tell me WHEN, otherwise it's going to cost me upwards of $72,000.00 for treatment.

  4. Ontario first province to reimburse new chronic hepatitis C treatment VICTRELIS™ Now Available for Eligible Patients in Ontario
    The Canadian Liver Foundation is pleased that Ontario’s public drug program has agreed to reimburse boceprevir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C,” says Dr. Morris Sherman, Chairman of the Canadian Liver Foundation. “Boceprevir represents a major advance in our ability to cure this disease, and as a result, fewer patients will have to struggle with the consequences of end-stage liver disease, liver transplants and liver cancer. We applaud the research efforts that led to this breakthrough and hope other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead and rapidly reimburse this important treatment.”

  5. I was diagnosed with hep 'c' in 1997, I had an unfortunate exchange with a dr. plutka in abbotsford , he told me I had to pay him for filling out a form ,even though I thought he was being less than honest ,I paid the 35.00,but found I simply could not trust this dr. so I decided not to go through with treatment, that was in 2003. now I'm at the point of either I get treatment or I die. I walked into the hep 'c' clinic at Kelowna and said to the nurse Christine , "I'm done,I got nothing left cure me or kill me", well the 2 nurses that run this clinic have been treating me "better" than any other previous health care providers to date. I had lost 35 pounds needed a biopsy and had an ulcer and needed surgery to remove my gallblader. I also had to have my remaining teeth out ,now treatment starts in 13 days , I have geno 1. I'm looking forward to haveing a life , some days I'm so tired I stay in bed ,but its not as bad as it was when I first got sick ,I was 2 months in bed , my knees and hip just about always in pain ,so the side effects will certainly be no worse than what i'm already going through. I will be so happy to start this and even happier when I'm cured. Yes I know maby i'm being to optimistic ,keep in mind though i'm a pessimist at heart.
    so I'll be doing riboviran interferon and boceprevir. If anyone has questions about how this is working you can contact me through e mail at
    paul.paintitblack.kelly @