Costs much lower for HCV patients achieving SVR, study shows

June 28, 2013

Healthcare costs were substantially lower for HCV patients who achieved sustained virologic response up to 5 years after antiviral therapy ended, according to a study published in the July/August 2013 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Healthcare costs were substantially lower for HCV patients who achieved sustained virologic response (SVR) up to 5 years after antiviral therapy ended, according to a study published in the July/August 2013 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy.

M. Michele Manos, PhD, MPH, DVM, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of almost 2,000 HCV patients who were treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (Peg-IFN/RBV), from 2002 to 2007, at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California. The majority of the patients were male, white, and had HCV genotype 1. Approximately half had achieved SVR at 3 years following antiviral therapy.

Using electronic medical record data, the researchers found post-treatment all-cause costs per person per year to be $6,301 in the SVR group and $10,149 for the non-SVR group. These costs included hospital, outpatient nonpharmacy, and outpatient pharmacy costs. “The adjusted difference in yearly total mean costs was $2,648 (95% CI, $737-$4,560),” the authors noted.

“Compared with those who attained SVR, patients in the non-SVR group incurred higher post-treatment costs in all categories assessed (total, hospital, and outpatient). During each of the post-treatment years, 85% to 87% of the SVR group had no hospitalizations compared with 73% to 82% of the non-SVR group each year,” they continued.

The study demonstrated that SVR with HCV antiviral therapies can have a significant impact on future healthcare utilization and costs. “Given that SVR serves to slow HCV-associated disease progression, our findings of lower post-treatment healthcare costs and utilization are both plausible and predictable,” the authors said.

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