Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the leading cause of end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in China. The prevalence of this chronic disease remains high owing to the presence of a large existing undiagnosed population and a population of nonresponders (i.e., patients who failed previous therapy or relapsed following prior therapy). Between 2014 and 2024, the key driver in the Chinese HCV therapy market will be the increase in the drug-treated population owing to the introduction of new classes of HCV direct-acting agents that offer interferon-free therapy. As they are doing in the mature markets, these agents will provide high HCV cure rates and improved safety and tolerability compared with the current standard of care (i.e., interferon-based regimens).

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • The total number of seroprevalent HCV cases will decline from more than 10.33 million in 2014 to about 9.19 million in 2024. However, the majority of surveyed physicians noted an increase in the number of newly diagnosed HCV cases from two years ago. What forces are driving the decline in the total number of seroprevalent cases and the increase in the number of newly diagnosed HCV cases? What is the pricing and reimbursement environment for HCV therapies in China, and how will it change when new HCV agents launch in 2018-2019? What is the most dominant HCV genotype in China? What percentage of viremic HCV patients have cirrhosis?

  • The current standard of care for HCV in China is pegylated-interferon-alpha (peg-IFN-?) and ribavirin. However, more than one-third of patients diagnosed with HCV are delaying treatment. What factors contribute to patients’ decision to delay treatment? What factors drive Chinese physicians’ prescribing habits? What are the drug-treatment rates of treatment-naive patients and treatment-experienced patients?

  • The arrival of IFN-free regimens will bring patients who have not responded to currently available treatments back into treatment, thereby significantly increasing the drug-treated population. What are Chinese physicians’ opinions of novel emerging therapies? What emerging therapies will enter the HCV therapeutic market between 2014 and 2019? Which agents, current and emerging, will be the key players driving market growth over the 2014-2019 forecast period? What factors influence Chinese physicians’ decision to prescribe protease inhibitors and polymerase inhibitors for HCV? What factors limit physician prescribing? Which drugs will dominate the market by 2019?

Scope:

Markets covered: China.

Primary research: 90 specialists who treat HCV patients in China (infectious disease specialists, hepatologists, and gastroenterologists) were surveyed, and 8 thought leaders were interviewed face to face.

Author(s): Youling Guo, Ph.D.