3-Drug Therapy Deemed Effective Hepatitis C Treatment

Pharmacy Times, September 2015 Specialty Pharmacy, Volume 81, Issue 9

An investigational combination of 3 interferon-free drugs has proven effective at treating hepatitis C virus.

An investigational combination of 3 interferon-free drugs has proven effective at treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a recent trial. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined a 12-week dose of daclatasvir, asunaprevir, and beclabuvir in patients with HCV-related liver cirrhosis. None of the 3 medications has yet been approved for use in the United States, although daclatasvir is currently under review by the FDA.

The researchers found that the combination cleared HCV in 93% of trial participants who had not been previously treated, as well as in 87% of those with past failed therapies. However, the addition of a fourth drug, ribavirin, increased the cure rate of patients with past failed therapies to 93%, comparable to that of patients who were receiving treatment for the first time.

“The development of interferon-free treatments has been a tremendous step forward in the standard of care,” said lead author Andrew Muir, MD, MHS, in a press release. “These drugs are highly effective and well tolerated by patients at all stages of liver disease.”

The drug combination was associated with minimal adverse effects (AEs) in most patients, but 3 serious AEs were found to be related to treatment.