An Added Bonus To New Drugs That Cure Hep C? More Organs Available For Transplant
“This is going to have the biggest impact we’ve seen in decades," said Dr. Christopher Sciortino, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Now that there are drugs to cure the disease, patients can receive the organs and then take the treatments to rid themselves of the virus.
New Hepatitis C Drugs Mean More Organs For More Transplants
New drugs that promise a cure for the 3.5 million Americans with chronic hepatitis also are benefiting another category of patients: those awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Those patients can now receive an organ testing positive for hepatitis C and, if they become infected, be administered the antivirals to rid them of the disease. The cost for the antivirals has dropped since their introduction, although at a low of $26,400 for an eight-week course of treatment, they remain expensive. For that reason, many state Medicaid agencies and some commercial insurers have restricted access to the medication, though many states now are lowering or dropping their requirements. (Ollove, 8/28)
In other pharmaceutical news —
FDA Rejects Akcea Rare-Disease Drug That Uses Gene-Blocking Technology
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday rejected Akcea Therapeutics’ application to market Waylivra, its drug for familial chylomicronemia syndrome, in the United States. Akcea didn’t give a reason for the rejection. Waylivra, also known as volanesorsen, would have been Akcea’s first drug in the U.S. market. The condition it treats, FCS, leads to a buildup of fat in organs. (Sheridan, 8/27)