New research suggests that hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments can be shortened in half of patients receiving them without compromising efficacy, potentially leading to significant cost savings.
An estimated 70 million individuals worldwide are chronically infected with HCV. Although the disease is curable, direct acting anti-viral (DAA) drugs used to treat HCV can be costly, ranging between $40,000 and $100,000. Despite advancements in treating HCV, cost and access remain a significant barrier for many patients.
In the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease in San Francisco, California, the researchers used a personalized medicine technique called modeling-based response-guided therapy to reduce treatment times when possible. Following a few weeks of treatment with DAA drugs, the researchers measured how much HCV levels had decreased and used mathematical modeling to estimate how long it would take to eliminate the virus.