March 12, 2012
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on Friday recommended Merck & Co.'s new hepatitis C drug Victrelis (boceprevir) for use in Britain's state health service. Although it often shuns expensive new treatments on cost grounds, NICE noted that the significant improvements seen with Victrelis make it a cost-effective option. Victrelis costs £30,800 (US $48,109) for a 44-week regimen; it is designed to be administered with peginterferon-alfa and ribavirin, which add £11,000 (US $17,178) to the total. The draft guidelines are open for consultation before final approval.
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