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Telaprevir: Added benefit in certain patients with hepatitis C
Date:9/5/2012

The drug telaprevir (trade name: Incivo) has been available for treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection of genotype 1 since autumn 2011. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the "Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products" (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined whether telaprevir offers an added benefit compared with the present standard therapy.

According to the findings of the assessment, the new drug telaprevir offers advantages in various groups of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection of genotype 1. The available studies provide proof, indications or "hints" of an added benefit. However, not only the probability but also the extent of added benefit varies.

An addition to previous standard drug therapy

Hepatitis C viruses attack the liver and can trigger inflammation there. If this becomes chronic, cirrhosis can develop and liver function progressively deteriorates. Moreover, the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC) increases. The virostatic drug telaprevir inhibits the reproduction of hepatitis C viruses. Experts assume that if no viruses are detectable in the blood over a sustained period after treatment (sustained virological response, SVR), the risk of secondary disease is reduced.

Telaprevir is administered in addition to peginterferon alfa (immune-system enhancing drug) and ribavirin (virostatic drug), which are already on the market. In accordance with the approval status, different patient groups are treated for different periods, which was allowed for in the assessment. The dual combination of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin is the present standard therapy, and this was compared with the triple combination of these two standard drugs and telaprevir.

Studies largely only provide data on morbidity and adverse effects

Overall 3 relevant studies were identified. The outcomes considered were
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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
presse@iqwig.de
0049-221-356-850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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