Epclusa is made by GILEAD, the same company that manufactures Sovaldi (Sofosbuvir 400 mg) and Harvoni (Sofosbuvir 400 mg + Ledipasvir 90 mg).
Whilst Harvoni was, and still is, the optimum treatment for Hep C genotype 1 it is not the best treatment for all other genotypes of Hepatitis C, which, up until the release of Epclusa, were best treated by the combination of Sofosbuvir 400 mg + Daclatasvir 60 mg.
Because Hep C genotype 1 represents about 55% of all Hep C infections GILEAD had a large part of the market covered with Harvoni however it was missing out on profits from the other half of the market, which was G3 about 30% and G2 about 7%. So because GILEAD is all about profits it was worried it was not making any money out of G2 and G3.
So GILEAD put in a lot of work to find a drug combination based around Sofosbuvir that would work against all genotypes of Hep C.
That mission was completed with the arrival of Epclusa which is made of Sofosbuvir 400 mg + Velpatasvir 100 mg.
Whilst Epclusa is not any better for treating G1 than Harvoni it is equal to, or a little better than, Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir for treating other genotypes of Hep C.
Early research suggests that Sofosbuvir + Velpatasvir is significantly better than Sof+ Dac for treating Hep C genotype 3.
However the big advantage of Epclusa is that a person does not need to know their genotype of Hep C to begin treating the virus because Epclusa will treat all genotypes of Hepatitis C thus removing the need to take the Hep C genotype test.
For a lot of people this is a big saving in money terms because the test for genotype generally costs around US$260.
Of course like all GILEAD products, with a price tag of around US$90,000 for 12 week’s treatment Epclusa, is grossly overpriced and out of the reach of most people who need treatment for chronic Hepatitis C.
Like all GILEAD products the aim is to sell Epclusa at a price that maximises profits and minimizes access, so Epclusa is only affordable to people with top level health insurance or living in wealthy countries that can afford to include it in their National Health Services.