The GoodRx Prescription Savings Blog

The latest updates on prescription drugs and ways to save from the GoodRx medical team

Victrelis: Another Hepatitis C Medication Discontinued

by Roni Shye on February 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm

On January 20th, 2015, Merck announced that they would be discontinuing their Hepatitis C medication, Victrelis (boceprevir).

Unfortunately this does not come as much of a surprise since the axe came down around one month ago for a similar medication, Incivek. For more information on the discontinuation of Incivek refer to our previous article here.

Within the past year, leaps and bounds have been made in advancing the treatment of Hepatitis C. New and improved medications are replacing older and outdated treatments, leading to the discontinuation of these medications by the manufacturer.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects the liver and causes swelling and inflammation. It is contracted through contact with blood from another person who is infected with the Hepatitis C virus.

What is Victrelis used to treat?
Victrelis is indicated for the treatment of adults with long-lasting genotype 1 hepatitis C, and is to be used in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Victrelis cannot be taken alone.

Why is Victrelis being discontinued?

In the past few months the market for hepatitis medications has drastically changed with the introduction of new medications including Sovaldi, Olysio, Harvoni, and Viekira Pak.

All four medications have changed the way we treat the majority of patients with hepatitis C—specifically, they mean the use of fewer medications. Unlike Victrelis, many of the newer drugs can be taken alone or with one other medication.

According to the manufacturer, Merck, Victrelis, is ultimately being discontinued due to:

  • Scientific advancement
  • Changes in treatment practices
  • Reduction in demand

For more information on Sovaldi and Olysio, Harvoni, or Viekira Pak please refer to our previous articles.

When will Victrelis be taken off the market?
Victrelis is estimated to be on the market until December 2015. It will no longer be available in pharmacies after that date.

You should also know:

The Victrelis discontinuation was not related to product safety or efficacy.

Copyright ©2015 GoodRx, Inc.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. GoodRx is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information on the site. GoodRx provides no warranty for any of the pricing data or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medical treatment. Third party logos, trademarks, brand names and images contained on are for demonstration purposes only and are owned by their respective rights holders, who are not affiliated with this Site.