Tuesday , March 9 2021

Those infected by hepatitis C in Spain are reduced by half in three years

Posted 2019.01.29 00:46:24CET

They conclude that the cost of the treatment "is compensated" with the savings in health expenditure


Active infections by hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Spain have dropped by half in three years since the extension of antiviral direct-action treatments, since the name Healing has greatly exceeded that of new diagnoses, according to estimates by the CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) at the Institute of Public Health of Navarra.

According to his research, Spain evidenced "significant advances" in the detection and treatment of HCV, eradication is set as one of the goals of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2030. In a work published in the journal "Plos ONE", these scientists have analyzed and compared the situation of people living in Navarra with a diagnosis of active HCV infection in early 2015 and by the end of 2017. The objective was evaluate the impact of new hepatitis C treatments in real life conditions.

At the beginning of 2015, in Navarra there were 1,503 patients with active hepatitis C, 2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants. By the end of 2017, the prevalence had decreased by 47 percent. During the study period, he managed to cure 984 cases, and other 333 new cases of active infection were detected. In total, 852 with active infection.

The scientists at CIBERESP require that, despite the fact that these data have been determined in Navarra, they are extrapolated to the rest of Spain as an estimate. Prevalent cases and new diagnoses were more frequent in men born between 1950 and 1979, in people with HIV and in strata with low economic resources.

Also, the team of researchers, led by Jesús Castella, has analyzed in another study published in the same scientific journal how patients receive healing of the HCV infection. "In an interval of only 12 weeks after the end of the treatment, the patients referred to considerable improvements in morbidity, decreased pain, anxiety and depression, and an improvement in the subjective assessment of the state of health, the which resulted in a higher quality of life, "says the lead author of the article, Regina Juanbeltz.


According to their findings, direct action antivirals have shown a "high efficiency" to achieve healing of the infection in patients with chronic hepatitis C. This observational study evaluated the change in the quality of life related to the health of patients treated and cured between 2015 and 2016. The patients completed a first questionnaire before starting the treatment and returned to respond at 12 weeks After concluding the treatment, before knowing if the infection had actually been cured.

Among the most prominent results, there was a reduction in the proportion of patients with mobility problems (35% to 24%), pain and discomfort (60% to 42%), anxiety and depression (from 57% to 44 %) and a general increase in the utility scale. Similarly, improvement in puncture was observed in cirrhotic patients and those co-infected with HIV.


The group of CIBERESP in the Institute of Public Health of Navarra has also analyzed the economic impact of the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for hepatitis C in Navarra and has concluded that the cost of treatment with antivirals "has largely offset" with the savings in healthcare in the medium term and its budgetary impact provides "a clean savings" from the third year.

The two determining parameters, scientists indicate, have been the decrease in the price of the treatment and the sustained viral response in nearly one hundred percent of the treated patients. Of the first 656 patients treated, 98% achieved a sustained virological response and the average cost of the treatment was 18,743 euros per patient, which cost was decreasing as the number of treated patients increased.

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