Patients with hepatitis C will now be able to access Janssen’s Olysio (simeprevir) on the National Health Service in England on the back of a novel scheme that sees the drugmaker pick up the tab if its medicine fails to work. 

The unique ‘pay if you clear’ reimbursement scheme, agreed with NHS England, refunds the cost of Olysio for patients who do not successfully clear the virus after 12 weeks. 

The NHS will also get free access to pre-treatment blood tests to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from the treatment, thus providing a framework that saves resources and secures optimal use of the drug. 

Mark Hicken, Managing Director of Janssen UK, said the scheme “is a great example of an innovative, collaborative partnership that can deliver benefits to both patients and healthcare providers”, which signals a new ‘beyond the pill’ approach that focuses on the additional value for patients and the NHS.

The agreement, says Janssen, is separate from the current and ongoing review of Olysio by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.