Monday, December 31, 2018

Swiss Hepatitis Strategy: Is HCV elimination possible by 2030?

Progress toward implementing the Swiss Hepatitis Strategy: Is HCV elimination possible by 2030?
Beat Müllhaupt, Philip Bruggmann, Florian Bihl, Sarah Blach, Daniel Lavanchy, Homie Razavi, Sarah Robbins Scott, David Semela, Francesco Negro

Published: December 31, 2018 


Catalyzed by the concerns over the growing public health and economic burden of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Switzerland, a diverse group of experts and patient representatives came together in 2014 to develop the Swiss Hepatitis Strategy, setting targets for the elimination of viral hepatitis in Switzerland by 2030. Previous studies have reported the estimated number of chronic HCV infections and forecasted burden of disease given different intervention strategies. However, given new prevalence data by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, which decreased total infections by about half, an updated analysis is warranted. We aimed to provide an updated viremic prevalence estimate for Switzerland and evaluate the impact on forecasted liver related morbidity and mortality of an ‘inaction’ scenario and intervention scenarios to achieve the Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis and Swiss Hepatitis Strategy goals by 2030. A Markov disease-progression model was used to calculate the present and future burden of HCV infection by disease stage according to these different strategies. In 2017, there were an estimated 36,800 (95% UI: 26,900–39,200) viremic infections in Switzerland. Given the current standard of care, total viremic infections are expected to decline by 45%, while cases of decompensated cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related deaths will decrease by 20%. If treatment and diagnosis efforts were to cease in 2018, late stage HCV-related morbidity and mortality would increase by 90–100% by 2030. Increasing treatment and diagnosis to achieve the Global Health Sector Strategy or Swiss Hepatitis Strategy goals by 2030, will reduce the number of chronic infections to less than 13,000 and 4,000, respectively. Although the HCV epidemic is declining in Switzerland, efforts to expand diagnosis and treatment are needed to achieve elimination by 2030.

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