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Report: Physicians Forego Re-treating Their HCV Patients Until New Agents Become Available

Clinicians await interferon-free products (August 6)

BioTrends Research Group, a research and advisory firm located in Exton Penn., finds that three-quarters of patients who have failed prior regimens, regardless of genotype, are not likely to re-treat their chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with a currently available regimen within the next year. Managing physicians state that over half will forego re-treatment in the next year because they are waiting for new products currently in development to become available.

The report also finds that two-thirds of treatment-naïve patients, regardless of genotype, are not likely to initiate treatment with a currently available regimen within the next year. The most common reason for genotype 1 treatment-naïve patients to forego treatment, according to their managing physicians, is because they are waiting for interferon-free products in development to become available, while mild progression of disease and/or little to no liver involvement are contributing factors for delaying treatment among genotype 2/3 treatment-naïve patients.

“Although many patients are waiting to treat their HCV infection, one-quarter of the patients who have previously failed treatment and one-third of treatment-naïve patients are likely to begin treatment within the next year with a currently available regimen,” said analyst Lynn Price. “Among patients who are likely to initiate treatment in the next year, 54 to 64 percent are expected to initiate a triple therapy regimen with Vertex’s Incivek, while only 16 to 26 percent are estimated likely to be treated/re-treated with a regimen containing Merck’s Victrelis.”

The recently published report also finds that the majority of genotype 1 patients currently receiving active triple therapy, regardless of the protease inhibitor brand, have achieved early and rapid virological responses since beginning their treatment. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of genotype 1 patients who have recently completed triple therapy, regardless of the protease inhibitor brand, have achieved a sustained virological response four to five months after completion of their regimen.

The report is based on U.S. patient audit data collected from 1,053 HCV patient charts provided by 100 gastroenterologists, 50 hepatologists, and 50 infectious disease specialists in March–April 2013.

Source: Decision Resources; August 6, 2013.

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