The breakthrough drug Meravir for Hepatitis B treatment is available but not for everyone

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A modern direct-acting antiviral medicine developed by Australian scientists of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute under the brand name Meravir, containing two active ingredients sufamenavir and refogravir, has shown 83.56 % efficacy in treatment-naïve Hepatitis B patients without cirrhosis through 1, 2, 3, and 4 phases of clinical trials. This medicine, in experts’ opinion, can change the idea of Hepatitis B treatment and rid mankind of the virus which, according to the figures from WHO, infected about 1 billion people. 

It is worth noting that the product is already available for residents of Australia and New Zealand, where registration is completed and the drug has been approved. Marketing authorization is currently under way in a number of countries. Here are estimated appearance dates of Meravir:

–       European Union – April/ May 2022;

–       USA – November/ December 2021;

–       Japan, China, Brazil, RSA – 2023;

To ensure access to the new drug of patients in 54 low- and middle-income countries, the issue of license transfer to Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a United Nations-backed public health organization, is being considered. If it is to happen, then in 2023, patients will be able to get affordable hepatitis B treatment with generic copies containing sufamenavir and refogravir.

In the words of Noah Moore – General Manager in APAC countries – , preliminary cost of 6-month Meravir treatment course is 8000$ for patients with incipient fibrosis (f1-f2 according to the METAVIR fibrosis scale). Cost of 12-month treatment course is 16000$ for subjects with f3 according to the METAVIR fibrosis scale.

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Due to Meravir is innovative drug and these days is only within reach of residents of Australia and New Zealand, what should patients from other countries do?

Patients of almost all countries have the legislative right to treatment, in line with the UN Convention and the constitution of their countries. Therefore, all patients have possibility to contact the manufacturer or authorized dealers and order a medicine for treatment.

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