UK:Hepatitis C patients in England denied lifesaving liver drug

Health experts concerned about decision not to extend Daklinza treatment to patients with genotype 3 strain of virus

Thousands of people in England with a chronic form of liver disease are being denied access to life-saving drugs that are available to patients in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Despite being recommended by European regulators and available in countries such as France and Germany, draft guidance recently issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the body that advises NHS England on whether to fund certain drugs, recommends restricting the use of Daklinza in England. The stance will affect the treatment of adult patients with a particular strain of hepatitis C.

The move has dismayed health experts and liver disease charities who say it will mean a large subset of the sickest and most at risk patients in England will not receive the treatment they need to prevent them from potentially fatal liver failure or cancer.

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