NICE backs new hepatitis C treatments

Two drugs that represent a major advance in hepatitis C are set to be routinely available on the NHS in England and Wales, after NICE issued final draft guidance recommending both Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Janssen's Olysio (simeprevir) to treat people with the infection.

Both drugs were approved in Europe in 2014 based on impressive clinical data and have gone on to record substantial sales, helped by the fact that both Olysio and Sovaldi were approved as part of shorter oral regimens that do not require the use of interferon, an injection that needs to be taken over several months.

However, both Gilead and Janssen expressed disappointment with some aspects of the NICE guidance.

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