Seattle, WA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/07/2019 -- Antiviral drugs are used for the treatment of infection caused due to hepatitis C. These drugs inhibit the growth of protease or polymerase enzyme of the virus. However, there is no vaccine for the prevention infections caused due to hepatitis C virus, which offers lucrative growth opportunities for market players. Increasing number of people suffering from chronic hepatitis C is expected to boost growth of the global hepatitis C drug market. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017, around 71 million people were infected by chronic hepatitis C worldwide.
Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne virus that is transmitted through needlestick injuries, organ transplant from a carrier, sexually or from infected mother to fetus. The virus infects liver cells and can lead to mild and transient effects such as easy bleeding, fatigue, yellow discoloration of skin and eyes. The virus can also lead to chronic and serious life-threatening conditions such as liver cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. There are six distinct forms of hepatitis C virus based on its genotypes. The Type 1 virus leads to around 60 -70% of global infections. Some of the methods used to diagnose hepatitis C include, blood tests for estimating viral load and genotyping and liver damage tests such as magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), transient elastography, and liver biopsy.
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Furthermore, WHO considers Eastern Mediterranean and European regions to be the most affected regions with the prevalence rate of 2.3% and 1.5%, respectively. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the U.S. suffer from hepatitis C. Sharing of injection equipment, transfusion of infectious blood, sexually or from infected mother to infant can lead to easy transmission of the hepatitis C virus, which is further expected to contribute to growth of the global hepatitis C drug market.
Increasing focus of various governments to expand drug coverage is expected to boost growth of the global hepatitis C drug market. For instance, in 2018, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario announced that all patients are eligible for Ontario Drug Benefit (ODP) irrespective of severity of their disease. In the same year, Thunder Bay group, HIV / AIDS / hepatitis C education and support services provider, expanded its access to medicines, as a result of successful negotiations between the provinces and drug manufacturers.
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Increasing number of drugs available for the tenement of hepatitis C is also expected to boost growth of the market over the forecast period. Moreover, direct acting antivirals (DAAs) help in the development of highly effective, INF-free hepatitis C drug regimen in contrast to standard treatment. The pipeline contains dual and triple DDA combinational therapy against hepatitis C virus. The effect of a combination drug is more significant compared to single regimen in the treatment of hepatitis C. Key players in the market are focused on approval and launch of new therapies. For instance, in 2016, Gilead submitted a new drug application to the U.S. FDA for the fixed-dose combination SOF/VEL/voxilaprevir for the treatment of HCV genotypes 1–6. Moreover, in January 2017, EMA granted assessment of SOF/VEL/voxilaprevir combination. Furthermore, in 2017, the U.S. FDA approved AbbVie's Mavyret, a combination of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir for the treatment of hepatitis C.
However, high cost of therapies and denial for Medicaid patients is expected to hamper growth of the global hepatitis C drug market.
Major players operating in the global hepatitis C drug market include, Roche, Gilead Sciences Inc., AbbVie Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co. Inc., and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
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