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Effect of voluntary licences for hepatitis C medicines on access to treatment: a difference-in-differences analysis.

Lancet Glob Health; 2019 Jul 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31362914


BACKGROUND: Voluntary licences are increasingly being used to expand access to patented essential medicines in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Since 2014, non-exclusive voluntary licences have been issued by Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb for key drugs for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We aimed to evaluate the effect of these licences on access to HCV treatment. METHODS: We conducted a difference-in-differences analysis, exploiting the staggered and selective introduction of voluntary licensing in different countries, to identify the effect of voluntary licensing agreements on treatment uptake. We extracted Polaris Observatory data on the total number of people infected with HCV, diagnosed with HCV, and treated for HCV, and constructed a longitudinal panel of LMICs over a 13-year period (2004-16). Countries were included if they were classified as LMICs by the World Bank in 2014, and had available data on HCV outcomes. The exposure was defined as inclusion in any voluntary licence agreement for HCV drugs. Treatment uptake was calculated as the number of people treated for HCV in a given year per 1000 living people ever diagnosed with HCV. We fit difference-in-differences linear regression models controlling for different confounders that could influence treatment access and uptake, including country and year fixed effects and a range of country-level factors. We additionally assessed the dynamics of the effect and the robustness of our findings. FINDINGS: 35 countries were included in the panel: 19 in the intervention group and 16 in the control group. In the simplest model, adjusting only for country and year fixed effects, voluntary licences were associated with an increase in the annual number of people accessing HCV treatment of 69·3 per 1000 diagnosed (95% CI 46·7-91·9; p=0·0060). After adjusting for country-level covariates, this increase was 53·6 per 1000 diagnosed (25·8-81·5; p=0·0354). The effect of licensing increased over time, and was largest in the second year after implementation. Results were robust to alternative specifications. INTERPRETATION: Voluntary licensing initiatives appear to substantially improve HCV treatment uptake in eligible countries. This evidence supports the expansion of licensing strategies to include more countries and more treatments. FUNDING: Unitaid and Médecins Sans Frontières.

HCV treatment access among Latinxs who inject drugs: qualitative findings from Boston, Massachusetts, 2016.

Harm Reduct J; 16(1): 44, 2019 Jul 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31288811


BACKGROUND: Compared with Caucasians, Latinxs with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) tend to initiate treatment less often, discontinue treatment, become infected younger, and have higher reinfection rates post-treatment. Little is known about HCV treatment experiences among Latinxs who inject drugs in the Northeastern USA. We assessed knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions tied to HCV, as well as HCV treatment readiness, and explored the overall HCV treatment experience of Latinx people who inject drugs (PWID) in Boston. METHODS: We conducted qualitative interviews with monolingual and bilingual Spanish-speaking Latinx PWID (n = 15) in Boston, Massachusetts, between 2015 and 2016. We used a thematic content analysis approach to code and analyze data to identify knowledge, attitudes, and experiences related to HCV treatment. RESULTS: We identified barriers and facilitators to HCV treatment. Six salient themes emerged from the data. For participants who had not initiated HCV treatment, lack of referral, fear of quitting drugs, and fear of relapse were perceived barriers. Trust in medical providers and a willingness to quit drugs were primary facilitators. Most participants had positive HCV treatment experiences, and several emphasized the need for outreach to Latinxs about the advantages of newer treatment options. Concerns about HCV reinfection were also notable. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a range of experiences tied to HCV treatment among Latinx PWID. HCV care providers play a key role in determining treatment uptake, and more treatment information should be disseminated to Latinx PWID. Healthcare providers should capitalize on treatment facilitators by ensuring referrals to treatment and should continue to address perceived barriers.

Elimination of hepatitis C virus infection among people who use drugs: Ensuring equitable access to prevention, treatment, and care for all.

Int J Drug Policy; 2019 Jul 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31345644


There have been major strides towards the World Health Organization goal to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as a global public health threat. The availability of simple, well-tolerated direct-acting antiviral therapies for HCV infection that can achieve a cure in >95% of people has provided an important tool to help achieve the global elimination targets. Encouragingly, therapy is highly effective among people receiving opioid agonist therapy and people who have recently injected drugs. Moving forward, major challenges include ensuring that new infections are prevented from occurring and that people who are living with HCV are tested, linked to care, treated, receive appropriate follow-up, and have equitable access to care. This editorial highlights key themes and articles in a special issue focusing on the elimination of HCV among people who inject drugs. An overarching consideration flowing from this work is how to ensure equitable access to HCV treatment and care for all. This special issue maps the field in relation to: HCV prevention; the cascade of HCV care; strategies to enhance testing, linkage to care, and treatment uptake; and HCV treatment and reinfection. In addition, papers draw attention to the 'risk environments' and socio-ecological determinants of HCV acquisition, barriers to HCV care, the importance of messaging around the side-effects of new direct-acting antiviral therapies, the positive transformative potential of treatment and cure, and the key role of community-based drug user organizations in the HCV response. While this special issue highlights some successful efforts towards HCV elimination among people who inject drugs, it also highlights the relative lack of attention to settings in which resources enabling elimination are scarce, and where elimination hopes and potentials are less clear, such as in many low and middle income countries. Strengthening capacity in areas of the world where resources are more limited will be a critical step towards ensuring equity for all so that global HCV elimination among PWID can be achieved.

Impact of geographic origin on access to therapy and therapy outcomes in the Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study.

PLoS One; 14(6): e0218706, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31233524


Late diagnosis and treatment may increase morbidity and mortality among persons with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We included all participants of the Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study (SCCS). We used unadjusted and adjusted logistic and Cox regressions to determine the association between the geographic origin of the participants and the following outcomes: antiviral treatment status; sustained virologic response; cirrhosis at enrolment; incident cirrhosis; loss to follow-up (LTFU); and mortality. The analyses were adjusted for sex, baseline age, education, source of income, alcohol consumption, injection drug use (IDU), HCV genotype, HIV or HBV coinfection, duration of HCV infection, time since enrolment, cirrhosis, (type of) HCV treatment, and centre at enrolment. Among 5,356 persons, 1,752 (32.7%) were foreign-born. IDU was more common among Swiss- (64.1%) than foreign-born (36.6%) persons. Cirrhosis at enrolment was more frequent among foreign- than Swiss-born persons, reflecting the high frequency of cirrhosis among Italian-born persons who acquired HCV between 1950 and 1970 in Italian healthcare settings. Although antiviral treatment coverage was similar, the sustained viral response rate was increased and the mortality was lower among foreign-vs. Swiss-born persons, with the lowest mortality in persons from Asia/Oceania. LTFU was more frequent in persons from Germany, Eastern and Southern Europe, and the Americas. In conclusion, in Switzerland, a country with universal healthcare, geographic origin had no influence on hepatitis C treatment access, and the better treatment outcomes among foreign-born persons were likely explained by their lower prevalence of IDU and alcohol consumption than among Swiss-born persons.

Short-term budget affordability of hepatitis C treatments for state Medicaid programs.

BMC Health Serv Res; 19(1): 140, 2019 Feb 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30819153


BACKGROUND: With some Medicaid state programs still restricting patient access to hepatitis C (HCV) treatment, it is important to demonstrate how states could expand treatment access to a broader Medicaid population and balance short-term budget concerns. METHODS: We used the HCV Transmission and Progression (TaP) Markov model to quantify the impact of removing restrictions to HCV treatment access on the infected populations, expenditures, and net social value for the North Carolina (NC), Oregon (OR), and Wisconsin (WI) Medicaid programs. Four HCV treatment access scenarios were modeled: 1) Baseline: Patients were treated according to Medicaid disease severity and sobriety requirements in 2015; 2) Remove Sobriety Restrictions: Disease severity restrictions were maintained, but people who inject drugs (PWID) were given access to treatment; 3) Treat Early: All patients, except for PWIDs, regardless of disease severity, were eligible for treatment and the diagnosis rate increased from 50 to 66%; and 4) Remove Access Restrictions: all patients, regardless of disease severity and sobriety, were eligible for treatment. Our key model outputs were: number of infected Medicaid beneficiaries, HCV-related medical and treatment expenditures, total social value, and state Medicaid spending over 10 years. RESULTS: Across all three states, removing access restrictions resulted in the greatest benefits over 10 years (net social value relative to baseline = $408 M in NC; $408 M in OR; $271 M in WI) and the smallest infected population (5200 in NC; 2000 in OR; 614 in WI). Reduced disease transmission resulted in lower health care expenditures (-$66 M in NC; -$50 M in OR; -$54 M in WI). All of the expanded treatment access policies achieved break-even costs-where total treatment and health care expenditures fell below those of Baseline-in 4 to 8 years. Removing access restrictions yielded the greatest improvement in social value (net of medical expenditures and treatment costs, QALYs valued at $150 K per QALY). CONCLUSIONS: While increasing treatment access in Medicaid will raise short-term costs, it will also provide clear benefits relatively quickly by saving money and improving health within a 10-year window. Patients and taxpayers would benefit by considering these gains and taking a more expansive and long-term view of HCV treatment policies.

Treatment access is only the first step to hepatitis C elimination: experience of universal anti-viral treatment access in Australia.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther; 49(9): 1223-1229, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30908706


BACKGROUND: Global targets to eliminate hepatitis C (HCV) might be met by sustained treatment uptake. AIM: To describe factors facilitating HCV treatment uptake and potential challenges to sustaining treatment levels after universal access to direct-acting anti-virals (DAA) across Australia. METHODS: We analysed national Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data to determine the number of DAA prescriptions commenced before and after universal access from March 2016 to June 2017. We inferred facilitators and barriers to treatment uptake, and challenges that will prevent local and global jurisdictions reaching elimination targets. RESULTS: In 2016, 32 877 individuals (14% of people living with HCV in Australia) commenced HCV DAA treatment, and 34 952 (15%) individuals commenced treatment in the first year of universal access. Treatment uptake peaked at 13 109 DAA commencements per quarter immediately after universal access, but more than halved (to 5320 in 2017 Q2) within 12 months. General practitioners have written 24% of all prescriptions but with a significantly increased proportion over time (9% in 2016 Q1 to 37% in 2017 Q2). In contrast, hepatology or infectious diseases specialists have written a declining share from 74% to 38% during the same period. General practitioners provided a greater proportion (47%) of care in regional/remote areas than major cities. CONCLUSIONS: Broad treatment access led to rapid initial increases in treatment uptake, but this uptake has not been sustained. Our results suggest achieving global elimination targets requires more than treatment availability: people with HCV need easy access to testing and linkage to care in community settings employing a diverse prescriber base.

The health equity implementation framework: proposal and preliminary study of hepatitis C virus treatment.

Implement Sci; 14(1): 26, 2019 03 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30866982


BACKGROUND: Researchers could benefit from methodological advancements to advance uptake of new treatments while also reducing healthcare disparities. A comprehensive determinants framework for healthcare disparity implementation challenges is essential to accurately understand an implementation problem and select implementation strategies. METHODS: We integrated and modified two conceptual frameworks-one from implementation science and one from healthcare disparities research to develop the Health Equity Implementation Framework. We applied the Health Equity Implementation Framework to a historical healthcare disparity challenge-hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its treatment among Black patients seeking care in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A specific implementation assessment at the patient level was needed to understand any barriers to increasing uptake of HCV treatment, independent of cost. We conducted a preliminary study to assess how feasible it was for researchers to use the Health Equity Implementation Framework. We applied the framework to design the qualitative interview guide and interpret results. Using quantitative data to screen potential participants, this preliminary study consisted of semi-structured interviews with a purposively selected sample of Black, rural-dwelling, older adult VA patients (N = 12), living with HCV, from VA medical clinics in the Southern part of the USA. RESULTS: The Health Equity Implementation Framework was feasible for implementation researchers. Barriers and facilitators were identified at all levels including the patient, provider (recipients), patient-provider interaction (clinical encounter), characteristics of treatment (innovation), and healthcare system (inner and outer context). Some barriers reflected general implementation issues (e.g., poor care coordination after testing positive for HCV). Other barriers were related to healthcare disparities and likely unique to racial minority patients (e.g., testimonials from Black peers about racial discrimination at VA). We identified several facilitators, including patient enthusiasm to obtain treatment because of its high cure rates, and VA clinics that offset HCV stigma by protecting patient confidentiality. CONCLUSION: The Health Equity Implementation Framework showcases one way to modify an implementation framework to better assess health equity determinants as well. Researchers may be able to optimize the scientific yield of research inquiries by identifying and addressing factors that promote or impede implementation of novel treatments in addition to eliminating healthcare disparities.

Novel developments of hepatitis B: treatment goals, agents and monitoring tools.

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol; 12(2): 109-120, 2019 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30621472


INTRODUCTION: Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection causes considerable morbidity and mortality and hence should be a target for global elimination. In recent years, advances have been made in understanding the disease pathophysiology and the relationship to clinical outcome. Novel treatment targets are actively being sought in the hope of improving the treatment outlook. Areas covered: We discussed the cascade of cure of CHB with respect to the degree of persistence of viral genome and proteins. Several novel antiviral agents either targeting the virus or the host are in different clinical phases of development. Serum hepatitis B core-related antigen and HBV RNA are novel markers, which might have a role in the prediction of specific clinical outcomes such as development of hepatocellular carcinoma or virological relapse after cessation of antiviral therapy. These markers may also be used to monitor treatment response in the drug trials. Expert commentary: Global elimination of CHB is challenged by extremely low awareness of illness and poor access to care. CHB and its related complications can be reduced by birth dose vaccine, antiviral therapy, and alleviated by complication screening. Treatment options for CHB will expand in the next decade and early functional cure is not an impractical goal.

Offering HCV treatment to prisoners is an important opportunity: key principles based on policy and practice assessment in Europe.

BMC Public Health; 19(1): 30, 2019 Jan 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30621658


BACKGROUND: Prisoners have a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection but may find it difficult to access healthcare services. This may be related to risk behaviour including history of injecting drugs and marginalisation related to problem drug use/ opioid use disorder (OUD). Direct-acting antiviral products with superior efficacy and safety compared to interferon-based regimens offer HCV cure. Many citizens in Europe have been treated, although few received therapy in prisons. METHODS: Analysis of prisoner HCV treatment need and policy determinants of clinical practice was completed for 5 EU countries. Evidence was collected from national statistical sources and peer-reviewed publications to describe prison populations and HCV prevalence, to map national prison/ HCV health policy or guidance. A consensus of important principles for prisoner HCV care was developed. RESULTS: Data from published sources describing prisoner HCV prevalence is limited. Prisoner population requiring HCV treatment is not known; estimated numbers based on analysis of evidence: England and Wales, 9000, France, 8000, Spain, 6000, Italy, 6000, Germany, 6000. Treatment access: national law defines right to equivalent care in all countries implying access to HCV therapy in prison similar to community; useful prisoner HCV guidance facilitating treatment decisions present in: 4 of 5 national/ regional HCV policy documents, 4 of 5 national prison healthcare policies. Four of five had practical prison HCV clinical guidelines. Despite existence of policy, implementation of guidance, and so HCV treatment, is suboptimal in many locations. CONCLUSIONS: Prison is an important location to detect, address and treat HCV infection in people who may be underserved for healthcare and find it difficult to navigate community treatment pathways. This is often related to problems with OUD and resulting social inequity. HCV management in prisons must be improved. Policy and clinical practice guidance must be set to promote treatment, and practical steps to make treatment easy should be followed including education to promote engagement, set-up of optimal screening and work up processes with modern tools to reduce time needed/ achieve efficiency; programs to make it easier to get specialists' input include remote working and nurse-led services.

Real life experiences in HCV management in 2018.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther; 17(2): 117-128, 2019 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30582384


INTRODUCTION: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of chronic liver disease, with approximately 71 million chronically infected individuals worldwide. Treatment of chronic hepatitis C has considerably improved in the last few years thanks to the introduction of direct-acting antivirals able to achieve sustained virological response in more than 95% of patients. Successful anti-HCV treatment can halt liver disease progression and solve the HCV-related extra-hepatic manifestations, eventually reducing liver-related and overall mortality. Areas covered: With the aim to respond to unmet needs in patient's identification, universal access to antiviral therapy and treatment optimization in specific setting of HCV-infected patients, a group of Italian experts met in Stresa in May 2018. The summary of the considerations arising from this meeting and the final statements are reported in this paper. Expert commentary: All the advances on HCV cure may have a real clinical impact not only in individual patients but also at the social health level if they are applied to all infected patients, independently from the stage of liver disease. Further improvements are needed in order to attain HCV elimination, such as the development of an enhanced screening program working in parallel to the present treatment options.

Simplified follow-up of patients with mild chronic hepatitis C in areas with limited access to antiviral therapy.

Dig Liver Dis; 51(6): 875-881, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30558865


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: In some areas of the world, antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is not available for all patients. The optimal interval for liver stiffness measures (LSM) and noninvasive scores to assess fibrosis progression has not been studied. We evaluated the usefulness of consecutive LSM, APRI, FIB-4 and Forns scores to predict disease progression. METHODS: Patients with CHC and at least two annual LSM within 3 years were followed for a minimum of 5 years. Noninvasive scores were assessed. Evolution of LSM and scores were expressed as change/year (Delta). RESULTS: 623 non-cirrhotic patients were included. Median baseline LSM was 6.6 kPa (IQR 5.4-8.4). During a median follow-up of 6 years, 61(9.7%) patients developed cirrhosis. Baseline LSM ≥ F2 and Forns ≥ 6.9 were the main predictors of cirrhosis (C-index 0.97). The addition of Delta variables did not improve its prediction. In patients with mild fibrosis (F0-1), progression to ≥F2 occurred in 80 (23%) within the first 3 years. Baseline BMI ≥ 24 kg/m2 and LSM ≥ 5.9 kPa were associated to progression. CONCLUSIONS: Baseline LSM and Forns are highly predictive of cirrhosis development. In patients with mild CHC, BMI < 24 and LSM < 5.9, the likelihood of progression is very low, allowing for a significant spacing of noninvasive assessments over time.

Recovery of metabolic impairment in patients who cleared chronic hepatitis C infection after direct-acting antiviral therapy.

Int J Antimicrob Agents; 53(5): 559-563, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30550818


Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is a complex disease that can affect different metabolic processes, including glucose and lipid metabolic pathways, with a significant impact on the development of heart disease and stroke. Recent therapy with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), beyond its high efficacy on CHC eradication, showed a beneficial impact on glucose and lipid metabolism. This review aimed to describe current evidence regarding the association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and impairment of glucose and lipid metabolism and also discusses potential public-health implications in light of the new DAA therapies and their availability at a global level. The excellent safety profile and efficacy of DAAs offer an exceptional opportunity to control the HCV pandemic at a global level and represent an opportunity for developing an operational research framework aimed at investigating the complex dynamics between host, pathogen and therapy that lead to metabolic damage in subjects with infectious diseases.

Barriers and facilitators to hepatitis C (HCV) screening and treatment-a description of prisoners' perspective.

Harm Reduct J; 15(1): 62, 2018 12 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30538000


BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global epidemic with an estimated 71 million people infected worldwide. People who inject drugs (PWID) are overrepresented in prison populations globally and have higher levels of HCV infection than the general population. Despite increased access to primary health care while in prison, many HCV infected prisoners do not engage with screening or treatment. With recent advances in treatment regimes, HCV in now a curable and preventable disease and prisons provide an ideal opportunity to engage this hard to reach population. AIM: To identify barriers and enablers to HCV screening and treatment in prisons. METHODS: A qualitative study of four prisoner focus groups (n = 46) conducted at two prison settings in Dublin, Ireland. RESULTS: The following barriers to HCV screening and treatment were identified: lack of knowledge, concerns regarding confidentiality and stigma experienced and inconsistent and delayed access to prison health services. Enablers identified included; access to health care, opt-out screening at committal, peer support, and stability of prison life which removed many of the competing priorities associated with life on the outside. Unique blocks and enablers to HCV treatment reported were fear of treatment and having a liver biopsy, the requirement to go to hospital and in-reach hepatology services and fibroscanning. CONCLUSION: The many barriers and enablers to HCV screening and treatment reported by Irish prisoners will inform both national and international public health HCV elimination strategies. Incarceration provides a unique opportunity to upscale HCV treatment and linkage to the community would support effectiveness.

Associating conditional cash transfer to universal access to treatment could be the solution to the HCV epidemic among drug users (DUs).

Harm Reduct J; 15(1): 63, 2018 12 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30541570


BACKGROUND: To understand the limits of HCV screening programs to reach all drug users (DUs). METHOD: The association of the recruitment of a representative sample of a population of DUs in a specific area with the use of a questionnaire that included 250 items allowed the use of uni- and multifactorial analysis to explore the relationship between HCV screening and dimensions until now restricted to qualitative studies. RESULTS: We recruited, in less than 2 months, 327 DUs representing about 6% of the total population of DUs. They belonged to a single community whose drug use was the only common characteristic. While almost all DUs (92.6%) who had access to care providers had been screened, this proportion was much lower in out-of-care settings (64%). HCV prevalence among those who had performed a test was low (22.8%). For DUs, the life experience of hepatitis C has not changed in the last 10 years. Screening, studied for the first time according to this life experience, was not influenced by a rational knowledge of the risk taken or the knowledge of treatment efficacy, showing a gap between DUs' representations and medical recommendations which explains the low level of active screening. Police crackdown on injections, disrupting the previous illusion of safe practices, was the only prior history leading to active screenings. Screenings were related to an access to care providers. GPs held a preponderant position as a source of information and care by being able to give appropriate answers regarding hepatitis C and prescribing opioid substitution treatments (OST). If 48 % of DUs screened positive for HCV had been treated, half of them had been prescribed before 2006. CONCLUSION: While hepatitis has become a major issue for society and, consequently, for services for DUs (SDUs) and GPs, it is not the case for DUs. A widespread screening, even in a city where the offer of care is diversified and free, seems unlikely to reach a universal HCV screening over a short time. The model of respondent-driven sampling recruitment could be a new approach to conditional cash transfer, recruiting and treating DUs who remain outside the reach of care providers, a prerequisite for the universal access to HCV treatments to impact the HCV epidemic.

Directrices para la atención y el tratamiento de las personas diagnosticadas de infección crónica por el virus de la hepatitis C / Guidelines for the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Washington, D.C.; OPS; 2018-12.
Não convencional em Espanhol | PAHO-IRIS | ID: phr-49680


[ANTECEDENTES]. La OMS estima que, en el 2015, había en el mundo 71 millones de personas con una infección crónica por el virus de la hepatitis C (VHC) y que 399.000 habían fallecido como consecuencia de una cirrosis o un carcinoma hepatocelular causados por la infección por el VHC. En mayo del 2016, la Asamblea Mundial de la Salud respaldó la Estrategia Mundial del Sector de la Salud (GHSS) para las hepatitis víricas, que propone la eliminación de esta como amenaza de salud pública para el año 2030 (reducción de un 90% de la incidencia y reducción de un 65% de la mortalidad). La eliminación de las hepatitis virales como amenaza de salud pública requiere que el 90% de las personas infectadas sean diagnosticadas y que el 80% de las diagnosticadas sean tratadas.
Biblioteca responsável: US1.1

Using telehealth to improve access to hepatitis C treatment in the direct-acting antiviral therapy era.

J Telemed Telecare; : 1357633X18806651, 2018 Oct 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30336724


Introduction One-third of the Australian population lives outside major cities and this group has worse health outcomes. Telehealth is becoming an accepted way to improve patient access to specialist healthcare. Over 200,000 Australian's have hepatitis C virus (HCV) and new treatments are very effective and well tolerated. We aim to demonstrate that HCV treatment utilising telehealth support for care delivery has cure rates similar to onsite care in clinical trials. We also report length of consultation and calculate reductions in travel and carbon output. Methods Patient demographic, clinical, and treatment outcome data were collected prospectively from hospital software and analysed retrospectively. This was an audit of all patients treated for HCV in one year from a single tertiary hospital that included telehealth in their care delivery. Results Sustained virological response was achieved in 51/52 (98%) patients with completed treatment courses, and 51/58 (88%) of those who had a planned telehealth consultation as part of their management. A median of 634 km of patient travel was saved per telehealth consultation. Discussion We found that a telehealth-supported outreach programme for patients in regional Australia with HCV produced similar outcomes to clinical trials. There was a considerable saving in time and cost for the patients and significant environmental benefit through the reduction in carbon footprint associated with travel to distant specialist health services. We conclude that telehealth facilitated outreach is a feasible and effective way to access HCV treatment and cure in regional Australia.
Resultados 1 - 20 de 294