One in four patients with HCV denied initial request for treatment

A new study published in PLoS ONE showed that one in four patients with hepatitis C virus infection who apply for treatment of the infection is initially denied.

“Delay in access may further challenge our ability to cure hepatitis C in this country,” Joseph K. Lim, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Yale Viral Hepatitis Program at Yale University, said in a press release. “Some patients are told they must wait until they have advanced liver disease before they can undergo potentially curative treatment. We hope these data may help inform national policy discussions on promoting more rational, patient-centered approaches to HCV treatment access.”

“This is the first study to our knowledge assessing real-world access to interferon-free [direct-acting antiviral] regimens in established cohorts of patients with chronic HCV seeking antiviral therapy,” the researchers wrote. “These results contribute to the limited data available addressing proportion of patients successfully obtaining drug authorization through public and private insurance carriers, time to approval, and predictors for approval. … Further studies are warranted to investigate the impact of evolving drug authorization policies by Medicare/Medicaid and private payers on access to curative HCV therapies such as [sofosbuvir and ledipasvir].” – by Melinda Stevens.

Do A, et al. PLoS One. 2015;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135645.

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