BOSTON, Nov. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from MD Anderson reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) their attempt to estimate the cost of treating all patients in the United States with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and compare it to the potential cost savings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a one-time age-based screening for HCV of all baby boomers. In addition, AASLD and the Infectious Diseases Society of America released in January 2014 a Practice Guidance for treating patients with HCV. For this study, the research team developed a model that simulated the natural history of HCV in treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients and included currently diagnosed patients, as well as those who would be diagnosed by the age-based screening recommended by the CDC. They then simulated treatments using the newly approved direct-acting antiviral therapies based on the Practice Guidance and further included recently approved ledipasvir-based therapies. They also used published sources for specific annual and treatment costs.
The total number of patients to be treated in their model was 1.6 million. They concluded that treatment cost to all payers would be $136–188 billion over the next five years. That cost is $65 billion more than the cost of drugs used prior to the new direct-acting antivirals. Cost-offsets because of the new therapies would be only $16 billion dollars. Because of this, their conclusion was that treating the large number of HCV patients would be "immense and likely unsustainable." According to Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, principal investigator for the study, "The best strategy is to treat everyone. Unfortunately, we are not seeing it happening in practice because of the cost of treatment. Either we need to reduce the price of drugs, or make the best use of available resources by evidence-based prioritization."
They concluded by calling for price reductions for the new drugs, additional resources to treat HCV, and value-based patient prioritization. In summary, Dr. Chhatwal said, "We need a multiple-pronged approach consisting of additional government funding, price negotiations, and need-based prioritization to effectively treat all HCV patients in the US."
The economic impact of Sofosbuvir- and Simeprevir-based HCV treatment in the United States
AASLD is the leading medical organization for advancing the science and practice of hepatology. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD's vision is to prevent and cure liver diseases. This year's Liver Meeting®, held in Boston, November 7-11, will bring together more than 9,000 researchers from 55 countries.
A pressroom will be available from November 7 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange researcher interviews, contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766.
Press releases and all abstracts are available online at www.aasld.org.
Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
Press Room: November 7 – 11, 2014
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
Researcher: Jagpreet Chhatwal
Email: [email protected]
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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)