Friday, June 9, 2017

Response to Cochrane Collaboration review in to Hepatitis C medicines

Update - June 13, 2017
The Guardian published a response to their original article that reviewed a report by Cochrane Collaboration suggesting there was no evidence new HCV treatments improve outcomes in patients infected with the virus.

The Guardian June 13, 2017
Hepatitis C antiviral drugs are effective
The Cochrane analysis casting doubt on this life-saving therapy is flawed and may deter patients from seeking it, say clinicians and scientists
We are clinicians and scientists who have studied and treated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection over many years and patient groups that represent those affected by hepatitis C. We write in response to your article on the effectiveness of antiviral therapy (Hepatitis ‘wonder drug’ may be clinically ineffective, say experts, 9 June). The Cochrane review that you highlight analysed clinical trials, which are by nature short term, where the sole purpose was to evaluate the virological efficacy of new antiviral drugs. The trials were neither designed, nor powered, to assess mortality, so it is hardly surprising that the Cochrane review was unable to identify any impact on mortality.
Continue reading....

Recommended Reading
In July Newsletters - Rebuttal over Cochrane Review of DAAs
View each rebuttal and all ongoing media coverage.
In June the HCV community was blindsided when an article with a somewhat "clickbait" headline was released by The Guardian. The Guardian reported on a systematic review published by the Cochrane Collaboration that suggested achieving SVR (cure) for patients using hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) doesn't correlate with any long term benefits.
Begin here....

Of Interest
Research article suggested by Graham Cooke‏ @grahamscooke
Long-Term Treatment Outcomes of Patients Infected With Hepatitis C Virus: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Survival Benefit of Achieving a Sustained Virological Response
The results suggest that there is a significant survival benefit of achieving an SVR compared with unsuccessful treatment in a range of populations infected with hepatitis C virus.

Response to Cochrane Collaboration review in to Hepatitis C medicines
​​​​​​This review was reported in the Guardian​ on Thursday 8 June.

Dr Paul Catchpole, Director of Value & Access, at the ABPI said:

'It can take decades for a person to realise that they are infected with Hepatitis C, by which time their liver may have been significantly damaged.

As such, the objective of clinical trials is to demonstrate clearance of the virus in the blood (SVRs) to predict the effectiveness of treatment, rather than studying mortality which would require studies to run over periods of up to 30 years. This objective measure, along with other 'surrogate markers', are an internationally recognised and accepted benchmark used by medicines regulators, clinicians and researchers alike.

There is also a wealth of evidence which demonstrates the impact of being infected with the Hepatitis virus on progression - from early cirrhosis of the liver through to end stage liver failure and liver transplant or liver cancer. This is why the markers that measure how much virus a patient is carrying, and whether the virus has been eradicated, are of crucial importance.

All of this is taken into account by NICE as part of their strict assessment process.

Our concern is that the Cochrane Collaboration research has been reported in a way that only tells half of this story, which is unhelpful for patients who are currently living through the pain of progressive liver disease or end stage liver failure.'

ABPI - The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
06/08/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2017 09:48

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