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NICE recommends Baraclude

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended Bristol-Myers Squibb's drug, Baraclude, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has revealed that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended its drug, Baraclude, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.

The medicine is an anti-viral medication which the company claims has proven to be more effective at suppressing the virus than the most widely and currently used generic, lamivudine. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) manufactures Zeffix, Epivir and Epivir-HBV, which are all branded versions of the generic. BMS also says that its chronic hepatitis B treatment is less prone to drug-resistance.

"BMS welcomes the news that NICE has issued a positive final appraisal determination (FAD) recommending Baraclude as a treatment option for all chronic hepatitis B patients, in line with its licence," said Richard Marsh, director of external affairs and market access at the company.

"Baraclude is a clinically effective and cost effective treatment for all eligible patients."

The drug is currently indicated for use in the US for chronic hepatitis B and BMS hopes that a final decision about guidance will be made in August 2008. Marsh said that primary care trusts (PCTs) should make funding available for Baraclude, so GPS can prescribe it for their patients.

25th June 2008

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