Side-effect fears stall hep C drugs

Unexpectedly severe side effects are hampering the roll-out of two highly promising drugs for hepatitis C, an expert says, amid ongoing setbacks in securing PBS listings.

Both telaprevir (Incivo) and boceprevir (Victrelis) were approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV in February this year — becoming the first new treatment options in more than a decade.

The drugs — described as “breakthroughs” in a long-stagnant therapeutic area — are