Specialty Pharmacy News Obtains Exclusive Data on the Effectiveness of Two Hepatitis C Drugs
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) - February 24, 2012 - Washington, DC

One specialty pharmacy’s real-world data for two drugs approved in 2011 for the treatment of hepatitis C support clinical trials data showing that the new therapies hold much more promise than the previous regimen did of clearing the virus, AIS’s Specialty Pharmacy News has learned. The drugs, Incivek and Victrelis, also could cut the current 48-week treatment time down to 24 weeks for certain patients if they achieve an early viral response. With patients who were among the first to be dosed recently hitting the 24-week mark in their regimens, Burman’s Specialty Pharmacy has shared exclusive data with Specialty Pharmacy News on what it has seen so far among about 700 people it has treated with Merck & Co., Inc.’s Victrelis and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Incivek.

Within the patient population naïve to previous hepatitis C treatment, 66% on Victrelis achieved an early viral response. Similarly, among a sample of 77 patients taking Incivek, 75% of the naïve patients were eligible for response-guided therapy, a percentage that is “actually a little bit better than controlled studies,” Steve Burman, CEO of Burman’s Medical Supplies and Specialty Pharmacy and president of Burman’s Pharmacy said. He pointed to an earlier study that showed each patient in which an early viral response is identified “can save the health system a minimum of $16,200 via shortened duration of treatment.”

Other data findings included:

  • 91% of prior relapsers taking Incivek were eligible for response-guided therapy, which is “pretty much what’s expected,” according to Burman.
  • There were no “problems with patient compliance on Victrelis,” which “was an industry concern because it’s a complicated regimen,” Burman told Specialty Pharmacy News.

  • As far as side effects of the drugs, “we have slightly more anemia with Victrelis, which was expected,” Burman said. Ultimately, though, his specialty pharmacy has seen “a little more anemia but not as many side effects with Victrelis.”

To read the story in its entirety, visit http://aishealth.com/sites/all/files/marketplace_pdf_samples/spn0212.pdf.

Specialty Pharmacy News is a monthly newsletter packed with 12 pages of business news and management strategies for containing costs and improving outcomes related to high-cost specialty products. Designed for health plans, specialty pharmacies, PBMs, pharma companies, providers and employers, the hard-hitting newsletter contains valuable insights into benefit design tactics, specialty markets for certain conditions, formulary decisions, merger and acquisition activity, payer-provider partnerships, patient adherence strategies, and new products.

Specialty Pharmacy News is written by an editorial team with extensive experience in pharma/health care business publishing — led by Managing Editor Angela Maas, who has been with AIS since 2005, and has decades of experience editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. Angela also is the managing editor of AIS’s Web and email news content.

For more information on Specialty Pharmacy News, visit http://aishealth.com/spn.

About AIS
AIS develops highly targeted news, data and strategies for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. Learn more at http://www.AISHealth.com.

Contact
Angela Maas
Managing Editor, Specialty Pharmacy News
Atlantic Information Services
1100 17th St. NW, Ste. 300
Washington, DC 20036
202.775.9008 ext. 3054/Fax: 202.331.9542

amaas@aishealth.com

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