Friday, January 8, 2016

New antivirals, more screening could slash hepatitis C cases

New antivirals, more screening could slash hepatitis C cases

By: KARI OAKES, GI & Hepatology News Digital Network
JANUARY 7, 2016

Hepatitis C could be reduced by 90% or more in the United States by the year 2040 with the use of direct-acting antivirals, near-universal screening, and enhanced treatment capacity, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

A research team led by Jeffrey Townsend, Ph.D., of Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Conn., said that new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) alone could reduce the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 80% by the year 2040. When near-universal screening and enhanced treatment capacity are added to the equation, HCV could be eliminated in the United States, though cost and reimbursement issues may impede implementation.

“The key finding is that a fourfold increase to the number of patients treated each year could virtually eliminate HCV from the noninjecting population within a decade,” said Dr. Townsend, senior author of the study, in a statement accompanying the study [Clin Infect Dis. 2015. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ894].

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