NICE releases final guidance for access to Harvoni, Viekirax and Daklinza hepatitis C treatments

Following the release last month of provisional recommendations for access to several new treatments for hepatitis C (see The Hepatitis C Trust news story here), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published final guidance recommending Harvoni*, Viekirax (with our without Exviera)** and Daklinza*** for treatment of people with certain genotypes of hepatitis C.

The NICE guidance documents released today will mean significantly wider access to the new non-interferon, direct acting anti-viral treatments for hepatitis C, which have shorter treatment regimes and less severe side effects for patients than previous interferon-based therapies.

These new treatments should start to be made available on the NHS within three months of guidance being issued (today, 25th November 2015).

Those with hepatitis C genotypes 1 or 4 will have access to new treatments. However access to Daklinza and Sovaldi by people living with genotype 3 hepatitis C has been restricted to those with more advanced liver disease, due to cost effectiveness. This still leaves many patients with either genotype 2 or 3 without new treatments available to them.

The Hepatitis C Trust will continue to advocate for improved treatments for all genotypes, and recent phase 3 trials for a new pan-genotypic treatment being developed – Velpatasvir in combination with Sofosbuvir - indicate good results across all genotypes.

Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said “We welcome NICE’s final recommendations for access to hepatitis C therapies released today, which will mean many more patients are able to access the best treatment. Now we have the drugs, we need to make sure patients can get them quickly and we will be working with NHS England and the new Operational Delivery Networks to make that happen. We will continue to fight for those patients still not able to access interferon-free therapies after today’s decision.”

Found out more about what the decisions on treatment mean for you, via the following links to the NICE website:

If you would like any support or information on accessing treatment or are experiencing issues with your healthcare provider, please call our confidential helpline on 0845 223 4424 or 020 7089 6221 or email helpline@hepctrust.org.uk