Interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C, how prepared is Australia for biosimilars?

Lim, David, Hepworth, Julie, Siegel, Evan, van Driel, Mieke, & Nissen, Lisa (2013) Interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C, how prepared is Australia for biosimilars? In Emerging Health Policy Research Conference, 14 October 2013, Darlington Centre, University of Sydney, Australia. (In Press)

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The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects some 150 million people worldwide. However, unlike hepatitis A and B there is no vaccination for HCV and approximately 75% of people exposed to HCV develop chronic hepatitis. In Australia, around 226,700 people live with chronic HCV infection costing the government approximately $252 million per year. Historically, the standard approved/licenced treatment for HCV is pegylated interferon with ribavirin. There are major drawbacks with interferon-based therapy including side effects, long duration of therapy, limited access and affordability. Our previous survey of an at-risk population reported HCV treatment coverage of only 5%. Since April 2013, a new class of interferon-free treatments for chronic HCV is subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme: boceprevir and telaprevir - estimated to cost the Australian Government in excess of $220 million over five years. Other biologic interferon-free therapeutic agents are scheduled to enter the Australian market. Use of small molecule generic pharmaceuticals has been advocated as a means of public cost savings. However, with the new biologic agents, generics (biosimilars) may not be feasible or straightforward, due to long patent life; marketing exclusivity; and regulatory complexity for these newer products.

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ID Code: 62608
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Health policy, Pharmaceutical policy, Pharmaceuticals, Intellectual property, Patent
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Health Policy (160508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The authors
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2013 23:59
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2016 13:53

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