A Smart + Strong Site
Subscribe to:
Newsletters
POZ magazine
JOIN AIDSMEDS YouTube

Back to home » Treatment News » Top Stories

Most Popular Stories
Undetectable Viral Load Essentially Eliminates Transmission Risk in Straight Couples
FDA Approves New Single-Tablet HIV Regimen, Triumeq
Life Expectancy for Young People With HIV Is Nearly Normal
A 15-Year Jump in Life Expectancy for People With HIV
Scientists Devise Method of Snipping HIV From Immune Cells
Monkey HIV Vaccine Success Opens Door for Human Trials
HIV Combo Pill Less Toxic Thanks to New Form of Tenofovir
What's That Mean?
(just double-click it!)

If you don't understand one of the words in this article, just double-click it. A window will open with a definition from mondofacto's On-line Medical Dictionary. If the double-click feature doesn't work in your browser, you can enter the word below:

Most Popular Lessons
Aging & HIV
The HIV Life Cycle
Shingles
Herpes Simplex Virus
Syphilis & Neurosyphilis
Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)
What is AIDS & HIV?
More News

Have medical or treatment news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to news@aidsmeds.com.

Click here for more news


emailprint

May 25, 2011

Fair Pricing Coalition Says Vertex’s Incivek Price 'Outrageous'

The Fair Pricing Coalition is again sounding the alarm regarding the price of newly approved treatments for hepatitis C, this time questioning the cost of Vertex’s protease inhibitor Incivek (telaprevir). The advocacy group is concerned that Incivek’s price tag of $49,200 per 12-week course will adversely affect the ability of people with HCV to access the drug, while also setting an excessively unreasonable future price point for the many hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs in the pipeline.

“Merck’s Victrelis costs $48,400 for 48 weeks of treatment,” said FPC member Lynda Dee in a statement from the organization. “Now Vertex has set a price approximately four times greater than Victrelis for 12 weeks of Incivek treatment. While we welcome a shorter course of Incivek treatment, both price points are outrageous. What is worse, you can bet that no future HCV drugs will be priced less than Victrelis and Incivek. What a terrible way to begin!”

According to FDA labeling for Incivek, approved May 23, the drug should be taken for 12 weeks with either 24 or 48 weeks of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, depending on a patient’s response to the regimen. The wholesale price for 48 weeks of HCV treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is about $30,000. The $49,200 WAC price for 12 weeks of Incivek, the FPC wrote, “will more than double the already exorbitant 48 week price” of hepatitis C treatment.

“Although the addition of Incivek to pegylated interferon and ribavirin should significantly increase the HCV cure rate, it will be impossible to sustain these prices in light of the current U.S. health care crisis,” Dee said.

“The HCV community is anxiously awaiting interferon-sparing regimens because of the terrible side effects caused by interferon as well as ribavirin,” said FPC member Murray Penner. “An encouraging number of these drugs are currently in development. It will take three and maybe even four of these new drugs in a combination regimen to effectively cure HCV in the future. Future HCV drugs will invariably be more expensive than Victrelis and Incivek.

“If each of the new drugs costs $50,000, we are looking at regimens that will ultimately cost between $150,000 and $200,000 in the very near future. This is unsustainable and will unacceptably limit access to the regimens.”

Other costs need to be considered as well, the FPC states. According to a paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the costs of treating the side effects of HCV protease inhibitors such as Victrelis are expected to be 30 percent higher than for existing treatments. And many of those with hepatitis C suffer from other illnesses. Some have diabetes or bleeding disorders; others are coinfected with HIV. All of these add completely new sets of medical expenses.

“We were very disappointed by the cost set by Merck for Victrelis earlier this month. Our fears about Vertex’s price for Incivek have now unfortunately come to pass,” Dee said. “How will this all end? We fear it will end in a lack of patient access to promising new HCV treatments that will result in morbidity and mortality for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

“Both Merck and Vertex have pledged to make their new drugs available to patients who cannot afford these exorbitant prices through their co-pay and patient assistance programs (PAP). Vertex’s PAP is particularly generous,” Dee pointed out. “The FPC will continue to advocate for people with HCV to ensure that both companies keep their word. We have kept a tight watch on HIV drug manufacturers in this regard. We intend to do the same thing in the viral hepatitis arena.”

Search: hepatitis C, HCV, Incivek, telaprevir, price, Fair Pricing Coalition


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The AIDSmeds team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include ":" "@" "<" ">" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Show comments (19 total)


[Go to top]

Quick Links
About HIV and AIDS
The Cure
Lab Tests
Clinical Trials
HIV Meds
Starting Treatment
Switching Treatment
Drug Resistance
Side Effects
Disclosure
Lipodystrophy
Hepatitis & HIV
Women & Children
Fact Sheets
Treatment News
Community Forums
Blogs
Conference Coverage
Health Services Directory
POZ Magazine


    fokisi
    Long Beach
    California


    usuallyhappy
    Palm Springs
    California


    max38man
    Chicago
    Illinois


    albsur7436
    San Francisco
    California
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Conference Coverage

XX International AIDS Conference
(AIDS 2014)
Melbourne, Australia
July 20 - 25, 2014


21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
(CROI 2014)
Boston, MA
March 3 - 7, 2014


7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention
(IAS 2013)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
June 30 - July 3, 2013


more conference coverage

[ about AIDSmeds | AIDSmeds advisory board | our staff | advertising policy | advertise/contact us]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.