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Canadian Treatment Access Council (CTAC)

This World Hepatitis Day, CTAC demands co-infected people not be left behind

July 27, 2012 - Toronto, ON: - On the eve of World Hepatitis Day, the Canadian Treatment Access Council (CTAC) calls on provincial pharmaceutical plans to reverse their decisions that prohibit coverage of two new Hepatitis C drugs boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek) for HIV and Hepatitis C co-infected patients.

While provincial drug plans have approved these drugs for use with Hepatitis C mono-infected patients (boceprevir in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Québec, telaprevir in the Yukon, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Québec and on Non-Insured Health Benefits), public plans have contraindicated their use with co-infected people - handcuffing physicians from providing the latest and most effective evidence-based treatment for their patients.

These new Hepatitis C drugs are urgently needed to respond to the often life- threatening health outcomes associated with accelerated disease progression in co-infected patients. This need is being met for people with private insurance plans, while those relying on public insurance (including the vast majority of co-infected people) are being shut out. "If I wasn't on telaprevir, I'm not sure how much longer I'd have to live," said Nic D. who works in CTAC's co-infection program and is accessing telaprevir through private drug coverage. "It's not right I'm getting treatment that may save my life while my friends on public plans are having their health threatened."

The low odds of achieving a sustained viral response (SVR) for co-infected people with the standard Hepatitis C therapy of pegylated interferon and ribavirin have been a barrier to treatment. "When I did my treatment, it was 25% odds as I was a genotype 1 and I was afraid it wouldn't work - but it saved my life," said Colleen Price of CTAC's Board of Directors. "I am grateful that it worked for me, but for many it didn't. This new triple therapy HCV treatment offers a much higher rate of success, will increase treatment uptake, decrease hospitalizations, transplants and mortality and needs to be made accessible to all HIV and Hepatitis C co-infected individuals across the country".

CTAC calls on provincial formularies across Canada to end the two-tiered treatment of co-infected patients and extend access on publicly funded plans, which allow doctors to use their judgment and the latest evidence to guide their decision-making that is crucial for the survival of many people who are co-infected.

-30-

Contact:
Akim Adé Larcher
Executive Directo
Phone: (416) 410=6538 ex. 222
Email: akim@ctac.ca
Web: www.ctac.ca

For more information please contact: Akim Adé Larcher, +1 416-268-1622,  akim@ctac.ca

ABOUT CTAC
The Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) works to secure and ensure access to therapies, treatments and care for people living with HIV/AIDS, including those who are co-infected, by working with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. For more information on CTAC's mandate, mission and work please visit www.ctac.ca .

Canadian Treatment Access Council (CTAC)
555 rue Richmond Street West/Ouest Suite/bureau 612 Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1 Ph/Tél: 1-877-237-2822, ext./poste 222 / 416-410-6538, ext./poste 222 Fax/Téléc: 416-410-1369


"Reproduced with permission - CTAC Canadian Treatment Action Council /Conseil canadien de surveillance et d'accès aux traitement"

CTAC
www.ctac.ca


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