Roche’s Copegus (ribaviran) available in UK for use in the treatment of Hepatitis C

Roche has received approval from the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) for its proprietary ribavirin, Copegus. Copegus is now available for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in combination with the recently launched Pegasys (40 KD peginterferon alfa-2a) or Roferon A (interferon alfa-2a).

Copegus is indicated in combination with Pegasys or Roferon A for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C who have not previously been treated, including patients with fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis. It is also indicated for the treatment of adult patients who have responded to interferon alpha monotherapy but have since relapsed.

Copegus is manufactured by Roche as a light pink, oval shaped, film-coated tablet containing 200 mg of ribavirin.

Pegasys is a new generation hepatitis C therapy. In combination with Copegus, Pegasys is the only pegylated interferon that offers all patient groups (genotype 1 and non-1), even with difficult-to-treat advanced liver disease. Compared to standard interferon it offers more patients, with even difficult-to-treat and advanced liver disease, a better chance of a cure when compared with non-pegylated interferon. It is given once-weekly by injection and compared to standard combination therapy, Pegasys is associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of certain side-effects such as flu-like symptoms, depression and hair loss.

Source: Roche Laboratories PR

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