Despite the shrinking size of the hepatitis C treatment market with more patients getting cured, pharmaceutical companies are still fiercely competing to sell their new products.
In particular, MSD Korea’s Zepatier (elbasvir/grazoprevir), which arrived in the market in midyear of 2017, and AbbVie Korea’s Viekira (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) performed relatively well.
According to IQVIA data, hepatitis C treatments have sold 62.5 billion won ($55.3 million) until the third quarter this year, down 37.5 billion won from 100 billion won a year earlier.
All hepatitis C therapies, including Daklinza+Sunvepra combo, unveiled in 2015 and Gilead Science Korea’s popular drugs Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni, (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) suffered sales declines.
However, Zepatier and Viekira marked higher rankings. Zepatier raised patient convenience with the once-daily dosage. Viekira showed 100 percent SRV12 (sustained viral response at the 12thh week after the treatment).
As of the end of the third quarter, Solvaldi topped the subscription sales in the hepatitis C treatment market. Daklinza and Harvoni, which ranked second and third last year, were beaten by Zepatier and Viekira, respectively.
Until the third quarter, Sovaldi sold 33.6 billion won, followed by Zepatier with 12.8 billion won, Viekira with 7.7 billion won, Harvoni with 4.8 billion won, Daklinza with 2.2 billion won, Exviera with 720 million won, and Sunvepra with 490 million won.
“Although the total number of hepatitis C patients is decreasing with the rising cure rate and shortened treatment, drugmakers should keep making an effort to help undiagnosed patients receive treatments,” an industry executive said.