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AbbVie’s new hepatitis C treatment outpaces Gilead’s rival drugs
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2019.02.12 15:56
  • Updated 2019.02.12 15:56
  • comments 0

AbbVies’s new hepatitis C therapy Mavyret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir), a follow-up drug of Viekira and Exviera, has outrivaled all the established treatments of Gilead in sales, industry data showed.

AbbVie’s hepatitis C treatment Mavyret

According to AbbVie’s report, the company’s hepatitis C treatments, including Mavyret and Viekira, sold $862 million in the fourth quarter last year. Mavyret sales totaled $819 million with the other $43 million coming from Viekira.

While the revenue of Viekira slid 61.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, that of Mavyret surged 89.3 percent in the U.S., and more than 100 percent in other countries, during the same period.

Supported by Mavyret’s robust sales, AbbVie’s hepatitis C treatments sold $3.61 billion in 2018.

On the other hand, Gilead’s hepatitis C therapies sold only $738 million in the fourth quarter, down more than 50 percent from $1.5 billion a year earlier. The drugs include Epclusa, Harvoni, Vosevi, and Sovaldi. Sales of Gilead’s hepatitis C drugs marked $3.7 billion sales in 2018, plunging about 60 percent from $9.1 billion in 2017.

Mavyret offers an eight-week treatment for patients with all six genotypes who do not have cirrhosis. It can be administered alone without the use of ribavirin and can be used in patients with renal disease of all six types, regardless of the severity.

The treatment is also available for patients with compensated cirrhosis or liver or kidney transplant patients for 12-16 weeks.

Although Mavyret’s patient convenience is weaker due to the dosage of three tablets in one time a day compared to one-tablet-a-day drugs of Gilead, Mavyret’s broader scope of treatment and lower price appealed stronger from the initial market release stage.

The local hepatitis C market is similar to the global one.

According to UBIST data, Mavyret’s prescriptions surpassed 1 billion won in just two months after the launch. UBIST began collecting Mavyret’s data from September last year.

While all the other local hepatitis C treatments, including Viekira/Exviera, suffered sales declines, Mavyret enjoyed solid prescription growth.

In June last year, Gilead cut the drug price for Harvoni to pursue a sales rebound. However, the sales inched up initially but went down again afterward. Gilead is witnessing a decline in Sovaldi revenue as well, despite the price cut of Sovaldi along with Harvoni.

Prescriptions of MSD’s Zepatier also plummeted after the market arrival of Mavyret. BMS’ 24-week treatments Daklinza and Sunvepra failed to achieve 100 million won ($88,971) in monthly prescriptions.


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