Roche To Price Hepatitis C Medication 43% Lower Than Schering’s Competing Product
Pharmaceutical company Roche on Monday announced that Copegus, its version of the antiviral drug ribavirin, which is used to treat hepatitis C, will be priced 43% below that of Rebetol, a competing product marketed by Schering-Plough, the Los Angeles Times reports. Copegus will go on the market this week at a wholesale price of $5.06 per 200 milligram tablet, which was the 1998 list price of Schering's Rebetol (Los Angeles Times, 1/14). Copegus, which has the same active ingredient as Rebetol, will be used in combination with Roche's Pegasys, a long-lasting form of interferon, to treat chronic hepatitis C (Baker, HIVandHepatitisC.com, 1/14). Rebetol is used in combination with Peg-Intron, Schering's version of pegylated interferon (Los Angeles Times, 1/14). The FDA's approval of Roche's Pegasys-Copegus combination treatment could put the company in position to challenge Schering's current "dominance" of the $1 billion market for hepatitis C treatments (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/19/02).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.