Gilead's hepatitis C treatment Harvoni accepted in Canadian health reimbursement plan

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Gilead Sciences said multiple Canadian provinces will provide access to the biotechnology company’s hepatitis C drug Harvoni following a positive reimbursement recommendation from regulators.

The recommendation means that both Harvoni and the biotechnology company’s Sovaldi are listed for public reimbursement for hepatitis in multiple Canadian provinces. The announcement comes one day after the biotechnology company warned that either drug had a potentially fatal complication if taken alongside the heart rhythm drug amiodarone.

Gilead has notified healthcare providers about the issue, in which it witnessed nine cases of irregular heartbeats in patients taking either drug in combination with amiodarone. One case resulted in death.

Shares of Foster City, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. rose $1.41 to $101.67 in afternoon trading Tuesday. Its shares are up about 41 per cent over the past year.