On August 22nd, 2013 the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) released a call for patient input into Janssen Inc.’s new HCV drug, SIMEPREVIR. In order to prepare our Patient Group submission by the Sept. 13th deadline, HepCBC is ASKING for INPUT from HCV+ people and caregivers from throughout Canada, by Wednesday, Sept. 11th.

CLICK HERE to ADD YOUR VOICE to HepCBC’s group submission which will help determine whether this new treatment should be available in Canada.

Primarily aimed at the hard-to-treat (and most numerous in North America) Genotype 1 patients, simeprevir is also being studied with Genotype 4 patients, and with Genotype 1 patients co-infected with HIV. Simeprevir, like telaprevir and boceprevir, would be used in a new “Triple Therapy” in combination with interferon and ribavirin to treat Genotype 1 patients. Duration of treatment is either 24 or 48 weeks, depending on a patient’s history and early response to the medication. In experimental trials, less than 3% of patients had to stop treatment due to its ‘mild to moderate’ side effects. Only one simeprevir pill per day is taken, and though it must be taken with food, it does not require any particular sort of food. Read more about its safety, efficacy, etc. HERE.(http://www.careeducation.ca/breaking-news/2013/5/7/canadian-perspectives-from-easl-2013-2.html)

Simeprevir is being reviewed by Health Canada for an NOC (Notice of Compliance) clearance as well. Once CADTH recommends a prescription drug (in this case roughly projected as early 2014), it is then up to the provincial governments to decide if and how their health insurance plans will cover the drug. HepCBC will make a British Columbia “Your Voice” group submission, and individuals will also be able to send personal submissions at that point. BC Pharmacare typically takes up to 6 months to complete post-CADTH approvals.

HepCBC confidentially collects data from HCV+ people and their caregivers through our support groups, website and email mailing list. If you are not on our mailing list yet, sign up HERE. While we welcome simeprevir to the arsenal of available or soon-to-be-available HCV treatments, it should be noted that numerous other drugs are also in the pipeline which will offer interferon-free and ribavirin-free options in the next couple years. It is an encouraging time for hepatitis C treatment, though the high cost of all of these drugs will continue to be a big challenge, particularly for the poor – even in the developed world – and for most patients in the developing world.

CLICK HERE to ADD YOUR VOICE to HepCBC’s group submission now.



You can also fill out the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF)’s survey about SIMEPREVIR (Deadline September 10th 2:00 pm PST) by going to this link:
CLF is also making a patient group submission to CADTH with this information, and we urge you to fill out this survey as well if you have time, thanks! 

And Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) is also collecting data for their submission to CADTH. To fill out this survey, go to:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MKX58CH Deadline is September 9th