Treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection at early stages of fibrosis not only improves health outcomes but is cost-effective, according to a new study.
“Our analysis indicates that treating hepatitis C early averts advanced liver disease (liver failure and liver cancer) and increases the number of healthy life years for patients. This makes treating patients early cost-effective compared to waiting until they have higher degrees of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis, as many insurers currently require,” lead author Harinder Chahal, PharmD, MSc, assistant adjunct professor in the department of clinical pharmacy at the University of California at San Francisco, told Medical Economics.
However, for many hepatitis C patients, high drug prices limit access to treatment, which needs to be addressed, he added.
Chahal and colleagues developed a simulation model to compare treatment cost for all treatment-naive patients with those with advanced fibrosis. The model made projections for 1,000 patients, but presented the results normalized to a single HCV-infected person receiving six HCV therapy options, particularly combined sofosbuvir and ledipasvir therapy, or no treatment.
Labels: Cost effectiveness, Treatment