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Ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir with or without dasabuvir for chronic hepatitis C: NICE guidance now available

Published: 27 November 2015
Liver
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the cells of the liver

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to the health service on ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir with or without dasabuvir for the treatment of treating chronic hepatitis C for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, informed by a report produced by SHTAC.

NICE’s guidance is that the treatment can be used for adults with some types (called genotypes) of chronic hepatitis C. The treatment is recommended for use in patients with hepatitis C genotypes 1 and 4, with the length of treatment and the additional use of the drug ribavirin depending on the patient’s genotype and the presence or absence of liver cirrhosis. Prescribing decisions should be made by multidisciplinary teams in the operational delivery networks put in place by NHS England.

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.

Ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir is among a number of new drugs that have recently been developed for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. It is administered orally with or without oral dasabuvir to inhibit viral 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.

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

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