AbbVie’s Hepatitis C Drug Approved by the FDA

A drug to cure hepatitis C known as Sovaldi has a list price of $84,000 in the U.S. — and that’s only for a 12 week course of treatment. In India, a high quality generic version of Sovaldi is only $200 for the same 12 week course of treatment. The reason Sovaldi’s price is ridiculously high is because there’s a patent monopoly on the drug, which is a harmful, unjust form of protectionism.

AbbVie’s Mavyret should therefore introduce some valued competition into the hepatitis C cure space. With the opioid epidemic and the resultant influx of more heroin users, Hepatitis C has become a bigger problem in recent years, so lower costs for its cures will be somewhat appreciated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved AbbVie Inc’s drug to treat certain adults with chronic hepatitis C.

The drug, Mavyret, aims to treat hepatitis C genotypes 1 through 6 in previously untreated adults with or without mild cirrhosis, a type of liver disease, including patients with moderate to severe kidney disease and those on dialysis.

Mavyret is the only 8-week duration treatment approved for all hepatitis C genotypes, the FDA said. A standard treatment for hepatitis C has a duration of 12-weeks or more.

Hepatitis C genotypes, or strains, are genetically distinct groups of the virus.

Hepatitis C is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver and can lead to diminished organ function or liver failure.

An estimated 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.