Interferon has been a blessing to those with hepatitis C – since it is part of the current gold standard triple therapy that results in successful treatment of this disease in 70 percent of cases. But it certainly comes with a dark side. Side effects from interferon can feel like having a bad case of the flu, along with depression and nausea. These side effects can be so severe that many patients give up on treatment.
Imagine successful hepatitis C treatment without interferon. This may soon be a reality. Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, predicts that an interferon-free treatment (based on a combination of a new medication from Gilead along with the long-relied on hepatitis C medication ribavirin) will be available to patients by 2014 and soon after become the gold standard of hepatitis C treatment.
If this Gilead medication does not come to fruition, there are other interferon-free treatments in the works, including one from Abbott Laboratories. The Abbott four-drug cocktail does not contain interferon and is testing very well (90 percent cure rate in patients treated for the first time).
So one way or another, interferon may be a drug of the past for hepatitis C patients. In the meantime, however, hepatitis C patients still need treatment. While many health care providers find that their patients don’t stay compliant to treatment due to side effects; that is not the case at BioPlus.
Today’s treatment regimen is completed by hepatitis C patients at BioPlus. In fact, our latest statistics compiled from all our hepatitis C patients (including those on one of the new triple therapies) shows that 92.7 percent of our patients are compliant at discharge. This data is based on 60 non-compliant out of 817 hepatitis C patient discharges.
BioPlus specialists offer support to patients experiencing side effects and help them persevere. Our high-touch services make the difference to this difficult but necessary treatment.
Stephen C Vogt, PharmD
President and CEO BioPlus SP
Press release: Abbott presents positive results from interferon-free phase 2 “Co-Pilot” study for the treatment of hepatitis C. April 19, 2012. Hepatitis C virus: A brave new world—Interferon-free therapies for hepatitis C virus nonresponders. Decision Resources. March 2012. Press release: In 2015, Gilead’s GS-7977 plus ribavirin will earn Decision Resources’ proprietary clinical gold standard status for the treatment of non-responder patients with hepatitis C virus. Decision Resources. February 28, 2012.