The European Medicines Agency warned on Friday that some of the most successful hepatitis C treatments on the market could reactivate hepatitis B in patients, the second time this year it has raised safety concerns over these treatments.
The latest health warning covers some of the top-selling products in the multi-billion dollar hepatitis C market, including Sovaldi, Exviera, Viekirax, Olysio and Daklinza.
These drugs cure well over 90 percent of patients with the liver disease and also cuts down the duration of the treatment.
The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), part of the EMA, said it suspected the reactivation of the hepatitis B virus was due to the rapid reduction of the hepatitis C virus, which is known to suppress the hepatitis B virus.
The agency recommended that patients be screened to ensure they are not infected with both the viruses before being treated for hepatitis C. (bit.ly/2gIdLRF)
It also recommended that a warning be included in the label for these medicines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued a similar warning in October, with similar recommendations. (bit.ly/2cT7qzn)