Two Hepatitis C Treatments Win U.K. Health-Cost Agency Backing

Merck & Co. (MRK)’s Victrelis and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)’s Incivo won the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost adviser in final guidance on the treatment of hepatitis C, a virus that causes illness in 85 percent of infected people.

Each of the two drugs offers a cost-effective option for the most common form of the infection when used with older drugs peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said today in an e-mailed statement. The agency advises the state-run National Health Service on which products represent value for money.

Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, won approval to market Victrelis in Europe in July. J&J of New Brunswick, New Jersey, won European approval for Incivo in September.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Hallam in London at khallam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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