July 21st, 2014
Hepatitis C Virus Infection: How Are You Managing the Cost of Newer Treatments?
Recently, we have seen remarkable progress in the treatment of chronic infection with hepatitis C virus — from long courses of injectable interferon plus ribavirin to short courses of once-daily oral sofosbuvir. Not only have these shorter, more-manageable regimens proven more effective, they are substantially better tolerated. So, what’s the problem? It seems to be the price tag!
Treating chronic HCV infection has never been cheap, but some of the newer treatments now cost over $80,000, and payers and patients are balking at the cost. Moreover, newer agents that may or may not be less costly will become available within the next year or so.
So, I am curious to hear from you on the following:
- What is your first-line regimen for most of your HCV-infected patients?
- Do you use more than one therapy depending on genotype, viral load, and liver histology?
- Are you running into barriers from payers in using your first choice? If so, how do you appeal, and what has been your success with appeals?
- Are you waiting for newer treatment options with the hope that the cost will come down?
- What are your patients telling you about this issue?
I’m looking forward to hearing from you on this topic.