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Hepatitis: Drugs

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total annual cost was of drug treatments for hepatitis C in 2005-06. (154357)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended three drugs used for the treatment of hepatitis C: pegylated interferons, interferon alfa and oral ribavirin. The estimated costs of these drugs dispensed in hospitals and in the community in the financial year 2005-06 was £24.4 million.

Pegylated interferon alfa-2a may also be used to treat chronic hepatitis B. Interferon alfa-2a and 2b may also be used to treat chronic hepatitis B and some malignant diseases, such as certain forms of leukaemia. It is not possible to identify these costs separately.


1. These data have been collated by the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

2. The source of data on hospital prescribing is © IMS HEALTH: Hospital Pharmacy Audit. The cost of the medicines is estimated at NHS list price and not necessarily the price that the hospital paid.

3. Data on community prescribing are taken from the Prescription Cost Analysis system, supplied by the Prescription Pricing Division of the Business Services Authority. Estimated costs are based on Net Ingredient Cost (NIC). NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.