Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infections are a leading cause of advanced liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. The first-generation protease inhibitors were a major advancement in the standard of care for HCV patients, despite requiring use in prolonged combination regimens with pegylated interferon (peg-IFN) and ribavirin, as well as being associated with suboptimal tolerability and efficacy. The launches of Gilead’s polymerase inhibitor Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Janssen’s protease inhibitor Olysio (simeprevir) greatly improved the treatment options, allowing for shorter treatment durations and higher cure rates, in addition to improved safety and tolerability profiles. Sovaldi is also the first product approved for use in peg-IFN-free regimens with ribavirin in certain HCV patients. HCV therapies have continued to evolve rapidly with the October 2014 launch of Gilead’s Harvoni (sofosbuvir/ledipasvir), which represents the first single-tablet HCV regimen approved. Competition for Harvoni quickly followed with approval of AbbVie’s Viekira Pak (ombitasvir/ritonavir/paritaprevir + dasabuvir) in December 2015. This report will track the trial, adoption, and use of Sovaldi and Olysio at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months following launch—a period that captures the launches of Harvoni and Viekira Pak. The report series will provide information on how these products fit into the treatment algorithm, the impact of current therapies, and changes in market dynamics. The report also provides information on physician awareness of, and familiarity with, these products, their perceived clinical advantages and disadvantages, and physicians’ perspectives on the effectiveness of promotional messages and activities pertaining to Sovaldi and Olysio.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • What is the extent of physicians’ familiarity with and use of Sovaldi and Olysio? How has the availability of new interferon-free HCV treatment options, such as Harvoni, impacted use of Sovaldi and Olysio?

  • What are the perceived clinical advantages and disadvantages of each product? What promotional messages are being delivered?

  • Which patient subpopulations are the likely recipients and candidates for interferon-free therapy containing Sovaldi, Olysio, or Harvoni?

  • What proportion of gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and infectious disease specialists have prescribed Sovaldi and Olysio, and when do non-prescribers expect to initiate trial use?


Sample Methodology: Approximately 50 gastroenterologists, 25 hepatologists, and 25 infectious disease specialists completed a 45-minute online quantitative survey with several open-ended questions for qualitative feedback. In addition, ten surveyed specialists participated in a 30-minute qualitative interview.

To qualify, respondents were required to meet the following criteria:

- Manage a minimum of 50 patients with chronic HCV infections.

- Have been in practice a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 30 years.

- Not be a member of a national advisory board for either product (Sovaldi or Olysio) or company (Gilead or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).

- Spend more than 75% of professional time in clinical practice.



- Final report provided in PowerPoint format.

- Complete set of frequency tables, summary statistics, and cross tabulations can be provided upon request.

- Transcripts of qualitative interviews can be provided upon request.

- Proprietary question slide deck: Clients purchasing report prior to fielding will have the opportunity to include up to three proprietary questions in each wave.

Physician Research: 100 gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and infectious disease specialists.

Author(s): Seamus Levine-Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Brenda Perez-Cheeks, Ph.D.