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National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Backs Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Hepatitis C Drug Victrelis


3/9/2012 7:45:52 AM

In its final draft guidance, NICE recommends Victrelis (boceprevir), in combination with Roche’s Pegasus (peginterferon alfa) and Copegus (ribavirin) injections, as an option for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C in adults with compensated liver disease. The drug has bypassed the preliminary stages of the NICE appraisal process, meaning it should receive the watchdog’s final endorsement next month. This is because the condition has a poor diagnosis and low treatment compliance rate, with a high annual incidence of new infection. All of this means that despite the availability of current treatments, chronic hepatitis C presents a major public health challenge, and requires new medicines like Victrelis that represent a step-change in treating the disease.

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