On September 11th we were notified that AbbVie’s new interferon-free hepatitis C treatment for genotype 1, HOLKIRA PAK™ (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonovir and dasabuvir [±ribavirin]), is now formally listed by the Non-Insured Health Benefit Program (NIHB) and Correctional Services Canada (CSC). Both have listed HOLKIRA PAK™ in accordance with the Common Drug Review’s recommendations: liver fibrosis stage of ≥2, and treatment should be initiated by physicians with experience in the management of hepatitis C. This is great news for two populations with an elevated risk of having hepatitis C, most members of Canada’s aboriginal communities and all prisoners in the federal corrections system (those with sentences of 2 or more years). However, HepCBC would like to see:

  • Elimination of requirement that patient’s liver be fibrosis stage 2 or above
  • Rapid approval of components of HOLKIRA PAK™ (and other companies’ similar products) that may be used for genotypes other than 1
  • Approval of HOLKIRA PAK™ (and other companies’ similar products) for prisoners in the provincial corrections systems (those with sentences of less than 2 years)