Author: Sadia Qureshi, MH Qazi1 and Muhammad Tahir Aziz
Publishing Date: 2018
Volume 31 Issue 2
Hepatitis C infection imposes a high economic burden globally. It has been estimated that in 2012, the healthcare cost of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was $6.5 billion. Furthermore, it has been projected that the cost will reach at $9.1 billion by the year 2024.Frequency of hepatitis C in Pakistan is significantly higher (4.5%) when compared to the populations like India (0.7%), Nepal (1.0), Myanmar (2.5%), Iran (0.8%), China (1%) and Afghanistan (1.1%). The current standard of care for chronic infection with hepatitis C virus is 24 or 48 weeks of therapy with Pegylated interferon-alfa-2a (Peg INF) +Ribavirin (RV) or Interferon alfa-2a (INF) + RV. The objective of this study was to determine that which combination is more effective and the gain in sustained virologic response (SVR) is worth the incremental cost. In total 84 patients were enrolled who received current standard treatment of care for chronic infection with HCV either 24 or 48 weeks of therapy with Peg INF + RV or INF + RV. A pharmacoeconomic analysis was done including fixed and variable cost (comprising concomitant therapies, emergency visits and hospital admissions) of both treatment regimens were calculated and compared with the SVR accomplished by the patients. It was concluded that the Peg INF + RV is cost effective as compared with conventional INF + RV for the treatment of adult patients infected with HCV genotype 3a under a varied array of possibilities regarding treatment costs and effectiveness.
Keywords: Hepatitis C, Sustained virologic response, cost effectiveness, genotype.