Yesterday, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) met to discuss a range of newly licensed drugs. Haemophilia Scotland had been invited along because we made a formal patient submission in support of the new Hepatitis C combined therapy from Gilead Sciences, ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni). There were also submissions from The Hepatitis C Trust and Hepatitis Scotland. A summary of all three submissions was read to the meeting and highlighted the need for a single pill treatment which avoided the need for interferon. There were some heart-rending quotes from patients about the horrendous impact of interferon side effects and long term damage.
We won’t know if if the application is successful for a month but we will report the outcome as soon as we know.
It is clear that the all the new treatments coming through at the moment are going to be used differently for different genotypes. If you don’t know what genotype you are now is a good time to ask your doctor so that you can tell which of the new treatments might be most useful to you.
Bill Wright and Dan Farthing-Sykes attended the meeting although Bill found himself trapped in a stuck lift for 40 minutes with half the other people their to observe the meeting! Thankfully he was rescued in time to hear the discussion and none the worse for the experience. We hope that this isn’t a omen and that there will be no delays in getting these new treatments to those who desperately need them.