Since 2011, HepCBC has provided patient group input to BC PharmaCare and, to the federal government, through CADTH – the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. CADTH is one of the first ‘hoops’ new drugs and treatments must go through, while the various provincial Pharmacare plans are the final stage of approval, awarding patients coverage for the drug/treatment through the provincial health plan. You can see all the submissions HepCBC has made at http://hepcbc.ca/patient-group-submissions-bc-pharmacare-cadth/ .

It’s been over a year since HepCBC sent CADTH its submission for Vosevi (sofosbuvir / velpatasvir / voxilaprevir) for hepatitis C infection. In their thank-you letter to HepCBC, CADTH explained how its patient input had helped them in making their decisions (to recommend) Vosevi:

“Your group’s input helped CADTH reviewers develop the review protocol by identifying important outcomes (mortality, sustained virologic response, health related quality of life, fatigue and other patient reported outcomes). Patient input was also used in our pharmacoeconomic report. Your description of hepatitis C symptoms helped our team evaluate the suitability of the economic model and the substantial burden carried by unpaid family caregivers was noted.

A member of the Canadian Drug Expert Committee presented your input to provide patients’ perspectives and to underscore treatment gaps. Committee members reflected on how the evidence under review addressed the issues identified by your group. A summary of the reasons for the recommendation, and the supporting reports is now available on our website. https://cadth.ca/sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir

CADTH reviewers and expert committee members found your input useful, particularly with regards to:

  • Highlighting that even the newer DAAs do not work for all individuals.
  • Identifying the needs of those with HIV or hepatitis B co-infection for effective hepatitis C treatment. We noted these individuals were excluded from the POLARIS trials.
  • Identifying patient concerns about resistance developing to the new DAAs and the current lack of long-term data.
  • Clearly stating treatment expectations for Vosevi, that it be very well tolerated and effective for all genotypes. Thank you also for identifying expected advantages as compared to other treatment options, including low pill burden, relatively short course of treatment and that ribavirin is not required to achieve high cure rates.

CADTH reviewers and the Canadian Drug Expert Committee members thank you for your effort in providing patients’ perspectives. Patient input is an integral part of our process and we appreciate your contribution.”

Complete letter can be read at: http://hepcbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/20180710_CADTH_Thank-you-HepCBC.pdf .