Jacob A. Langness, David Tabano, Amanda Wieland, Sarah Tise, Lindsay Pratt, Lauren A. Harrington, Sonia Lin, Vahram Ghuschcyan, Kavita V. Nair, Gregory T. Everson
Introduction. Interferon-free, multi-direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly effective and well tolerated, but costly. To gain perspective on the evolving economics of HCV therapy, we compared the cost per cure of a multi-DAA regimen with the prior standard of triple therapy. Material and methods. Patients infected with HCV genotype 1 who were treated through the University of Colorado Hepatology Clinic between May 2011 and December 2014 comprised the study population. The multi-DAA regimen of simeprevir plus sofosbuvir (SMV/SOF) was compared to the triple therapy regimen consisting of peginterferon and ribavirin, with either boceprevir or telaprevir (TT). Sustained-virologic response (SVR) rates, total costs per treatment and adverse events were recorded. Total cost per SVR were compared for the two treatments, controlling for patient demographics and clinical characteristics. Results. One hundred eighty-three patients received SMV/SOF (n = 70) or TT (n = 113). Patients receiving SMV/SOF were older, more treatment experienced, and had a higher stage of fibrosis. SVRs were 86% and 59%, average total costs per patient were $152,775 and $95,943, and average total costs per SVR were $178,237 vs. $161,813.49 for SMV/SOF and TT groups, respectively. Medication costs accounted for 98% of SMV/SOF and 85% of TT treatment costs. Conclusion. The high cure rate of multi-DAA treatment of HCV is offset by the high costs of the DAAs, such that the cost per cure from TT to multi-DAA therapy has been relatively constant. In order to cure more patients, either additional financial resources will need to be allocated to the treatment of HCV or drug costs will need to be reduced.
Key words. HCV, DAA, SVR, Efficacy