Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the launch of novel therapies for the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), including Vertex/Johnson & Johnson/Mitsubishi Tanabe's telaprevir and Merck's boceprevir, will precipitate several changes in HCV treatment. According to Patient Flow in Hepatitis C Virus, surveyed physicians plan to initiate treatment in at least half of their "warehoused" HCV1 patients one year after novel therapies become available. Patient "warehousing" is a term that has been coined to characterize the phenomenon of HCV patients opting out of treatment with current standard of care in anticipation of new therapies; psychiatric events, adverse events and liver health are top reasons keeping patients away from current therapies.
The report also finds that time from initial diagnosis to treatment initiation will decrease once novel HCV therapies are available. On average, surveyed physicians stated they wait 17 months to initiate treatment in HCV1 treatment-naive patients; this time will decrease to 7 months once novel treatment options are available.
"The arrival of telaprevir and boceprevir will alter more than the drug-treatment rate and treatment initiation timing in HCV," said Alexandra Makarova, M.D., Ph.D. "Physicians indicate they would increase the capacity of their HCV practice to accommodate the additional patients expected once novel therapies are available."