Imported generics as effective as branded antivirals for hepatitis C

Hepatitis C infection was undetectable in 98% of patients after treatment with generic antivirals.

Micrograph of Hepatitis C virus

Access to antiviral therapy for hepatitis C infection is restricted in some countries due to the high cost of branded drugs.

Researchers in Australia, where patients can legally import a three-month supply of treatment, studied the efficacy of imported generic antivirals in 419 patients with hepatitis C infection.

Their interim results show that the virus was undetectable in 98% of patients at the end of treatment, and in 96% of patients four weeks after stopping treatment.

The researchers, who reported their findings at the International Liver Congress in April 2016[1]
, said the results are comparable to those seen in phase III trials of branded treatments. They added that improving access to these cheaper generic drugs could therefore have a major impact on hepatitis C treatment around the world.


[1] Freeman J, Sallie R, Kennedy A et al. High sustained virological response rates using generic direct acting antiviral treatment for hepatitis C, imported into Australia. Presented at The International Liver Congress; 13–17th April 2016; Barcelona, Spain.

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, May 2016, Vol 8, No 5;8(5):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201038

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