(Adds no price available yet, details on hepatitis c)
Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Friday approved
AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing
the first competition for Gilead Sciences huge selling
and expensive medicine for the liver-destroying virus.
The AbbVie regimen consists of four different anti-viral
drugs to be taken as three pills in the morning and one in the
evening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the
regimen, which will be sold under the brand name Viekira Pak,
for patients with genotype 1 form of the virus, the most common
type of hepatitis C and the most difficult to treat.
Gilead's Sovaldi, which was approved a year ago, had been
selling at the rate of about $3 billion per quarter due to huge
pent up demand. Sovaldi is now combined with another Gilead drug
and sold as Harvoni, which is taken as one pill once a day for
12 weeks at a cost of about $94,500. Some patients can take it
for just eight weeks, which costs about $63,000.
Labels: Viekira Pak