Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ontario Expands Patient Access to Chronic Hepatitis C Therapies On Public Drug Plan

Ontario Expands Patient Access to Chronic Hepatitis C Therapies On Public Drug Plan

  • Gilead applauds Ontario's Ministry of Health for expanding access to curative hepatitis C therapies to all diagnosed patients, regardless of severity of illness
  • Ontario's expanded access includes EPCLUSA®, a 12 week treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C across all six genotypes
  • Gilead's new product, VOSEVI™ is now available under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program
  • The removal of the fibrosis level criterion for access furthers Canada's commitment to the World Health Organization's Global Hepatitis C elimination efforts
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. (Gilead Canada) today recognizes the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for its leadership in the expansion of access to therapies that treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program. Today, all eligible ODB recipients will have greater access to treatment, regardless of the severity of disease (fibrosis level), to achieve a cure and improve their quality of life. Patients with chronic hepatitis C will no longer have to wait for their disease to progress before starting treatment.

"Expanded access is an important milestone to achieve Canada's commitment to eliminating hepatitis C by 2030," said Kennet Brysting, General Manager of Gilead Canada. "Increasing hepatitis C treatment rates among patients and high-risk populations will help to reduce the burden of illness, the risk of transmission and the significant associated costs to the healthcare system."

Today's announcement will allow more patients to access a broad selection of therapies, including all those developed by Gilead Canada – EPCLUSA (velpatasvir/sofosbuvir), VOSEVI (voxilaprevir/velpatasvir/sofosbuvir), HARVONI® (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and SOVALDI® (sofosbuvir). EPCLUSA is a publicly accessible treatment that can be used for patients with hepatitis C infection across all six genotypes, and VOSEVI is approved for use in patients who have failed on a previous direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment regimen.

"Canada has committed to eliminating hepatitis C by 2030, and to accomplish this goal we need to significantly increase treatment rates," said Dr. Morris Sherman, Chairperson, Canadian Liver Foundation and hepatologist at Toronto General Hospital. "Treatment regimens are getting shorter, simpler and more widely effective across genotypes meaning that treatment is now easier for both patients and physicians to manage.

"Currently, an estimated 44 per cent still remain undiagnosed, so increasing treatment rates also requires improving screening and diagnosis, which is why the Canadian Liver Foundation recommends that everyone in Canada born between 1945 and 1975 receive a one-time test for hepatitis C," added Dr. Sherman. "Treatment should be an option for everyone, regardless of disease severity, where they live in the province or their ability to pay. We're glad to see that the Ontario government is taking steps to make treatments accessible for more Ontarians with chronic hepatitis C."

For more information on the expanded access for hepatitis C therapies and VOSEVI listing:

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