Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

NICE issues guidance on simeprevir for chronic hepatitis C

Published: 19 March 2015

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to the health service on simeprevir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, informed by a report produced by SHTAC.

NICE’s guidance is that simeprevir (Olysio), in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, is recommended within its marketing authorisation as an option for treating genotype 1 and 4 chronic hepatitis C in adults.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the cells of the liver, with most cases resulting from exposure to contaminated blood. Some people with hepatitis C virus clear the infection naturally, but in many the infection is persistent. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis C infection may cause inflammation of the liver which in some patients leads eventually to cirrhosis or hepatocellular cancer and in severe cases may require liver transplant. In the early stages there may be few symptoms, and so the number of infected people is difficult to determine precisely. Around 173,000 people are thought to be chronically infected with hepatitis C in England and Wales, of which 17,000 are receiving treatment.

Simeprevir is a protease inhibitor that prevents viral replication because it inhibits an enzyme that is essential for hepatitis C virus replication. NICE’s guidance is informed by an evidence review group report prepared by SHTAC, which critically appraised the drug company’s submission to NICE’s Single Technology Appraisal process.

NICE recently also issued guidance recommending sofosbuvir as an option for treating chronic hepatitis C, in specific sub-groups of adult patients. Simeprevir has a marketing authorisation for use in combination with sofosbuvir. NICE’s recommendations for simeprevir in combination with sofosbuvir will be developed in separate guidance.

For more information on SHTAC's research into hepatitis please visit our Research page.

Privacy Settings