B.C covers curative hepatitis C drug Holkira Pak

British Columbia is providing public drug plan coverage of another new generation hepatitis C drug.

British Columbia is providing public drug plan coverage of another new generation hepatitis C drug.

Effective immediately, World Hepatitis Day, people with hepatitis C genotype 1 can now apply for coverage of Holkira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir and dasabuvir) under B.C.’s PharmaCare program. Based on clinical studies, this new combination medication cures more than 90 per cent of people treated.

British Columbia and Ontario jointly led negotiations with the drug’s manufacturer through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance. The alliance’s process allows participating provinces, territories and the federal government to leverage their collective buying power and negotiate better prices for new drugs. Prices and terms for this negotiation are confidential.

Holkira Pak treats genotype 1 hepatitis C only, and was approved for sale by Health Canada in December 2014. PharmaCare covers Holkira Pak for people who meet certain criteria. For example, people who have never before been treated for hepatitis C or who have failed treatment with older drugs may be eligible for coverage.

“The Pacific Hepatitis C Network applauds the addition of new treatments like Holkira Pak to the PharmaCare formulary here in B.C.,” said Daryl Luster, president of the board of the Pacific Hepatitis C Network. “I can say with great certainty that lives will be saved, and the quality of life for thousands of people living with hepatitis C, and their families will be impacted in the most positive of ways due to this action by the Government of British Columbia.”

For more information on PharmaCare coverage of hepatitis C drugs, please visit: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/formulary/dds.html