With provincial approval of a second costly drug that can cure
hepatitis C, Ottawa liver specialist Dr. Curtis Cooper is now expecting
to see thousands of his patients cured of the disease that, without
treatment, had the potential to destroy their lives.
The Ontario government agreed this week to pay for the drug Holkira
Pak which, pharmaceutical company AbbVie says had a 97 per cent cure
rate in genotype 1 hepatitis C patients during clinical trials. It is
the second hepatitis C drug the province has approved this year under
the Ontario Drug Benefit exceptional access program. Earlier,the
province agreed to pay for the drug Harvoni, which has a similar high
cure rate for hepatitis C.
Both drugs cost in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, or more, which,
until the province approved them, meant they were out of reach to most
patients. Unlike previous treatments for hepatitis C, the drugs are easy
to take in daily pill form, are well tolerated by patients and cure the
disease in the vast majority of cases.
Labels: Abbvie, access to treatment, Canada, HOLKIRA PAK, Ontario Pharmacare