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Home Industry News Merck Sharp and Dohme’s Zepatier receives provisional NICE backing

Merck Sharp and Dohme’s Zepatier receives provisional NICE backing

12th September 2016

Merck Sharp and Dohme's hepatitis C antiviral drug has been recommended in new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The UK regulator has provisionally endorsed the elbasvir-grazoprevir therapy for routine NHS use in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, having considered the clinical evidence demonstrating its safety and efficacy.

In clinical trials, the drug was demonstrated to offer cure rates above 90 percent for people with hepatitis C genotypes 1 and 4, with the cure rate shown to be dependent on the genotype, treatment history and presence of liver damage.

Merck Sharp and Dohme has agreed to provide a discount for the NHS for the once-daily therapy, meaning Zepatier could potentially reach around 4,000 patients in the first year after approval if NICE's draft guidance is made final.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: "Our positive recommendation for elbasvir-grazoprevir means that more treatment options will become available to patients with hepatitis C. As these types of antiviral drugs are more effective, the spread of the virus can be reduced."

Final guidance is expected to be published in October, after which the NHS will have a three-month period to make the drug available to patients.

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