Hepatitis C treats more than 90% of patients but costs more than $ 50,000 per patient.
New research results can bring significant cost savings. A preliminary study jointly conducted by a theoretical model researcher at the Loyola University School of Medicine at the University of Chicago in Chicago suggests that 50% of patients are able to shorten their standard 12-week treatment to six weeks.
Dr Harel Dahari, Ph.D., co-authored with Dr. Ohad Etzion of the Soroka University Medical Center in Israel, said, "There is a potential to save 20% of the cost of hepatitis C treatment. Amir Shlomai, MD, PhD of Beilinson Hospital in Israel.
The study was published on November 12 at the Annual Meeting of the American Liver Disease Research Society in San Francisco.
Dr. Dahari is co-director of the Experimental and Theoretical Modeling (PETM) program at the Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Two other Loyola authors are Dr. Susan Uprichard, co-director of PETM, Dr. Scott Cotler, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, director of Loyola Medicine at Loyola Medicine, and professor of medicine at Loyola University. Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus spread through contaminated blood. It can lead to liver damage, liver failure and liver cancer. Approximately 70 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis C infection, including about 3 million people in the United States.
Oral medications, called direct acting antiviral drugs (DAA), have revolutionized the treatment of hepatitis C viruses. More than 90% of patients use this medication to remove the virus and minimize side effects. However, high costs limit access and result in significant financial burdens for Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers.
"Today's therapies are standardized to be standardized for a set period of time, usually twelve weeks, rather than for individual patients," Dr. Kotler said.
In a new study, researchers used a personalized medical technique called model-based response-inducing therapy to reduce treatment time, if possible. After weeks of treatment, the researchers measured how much the hepatitis C virus had decreased. They used mathematical modeling to predict the time it takes to completely remove the virus.
So far, 22 patients were included in the study. Mathematical modeling predicted that 8 weeks in 8 patients (8%) and 6 weeks in 2 patients (9%) could be shortened in one patient (5% of total patients) The other 11 patients (50%) had to be treated for a standard 12 weeks.
Twenty-one patients had no viruses. The only patient who recurred was the most difficult form of hepatitis C virus known as genotype 3.
The proof-of-concept experimental study has shown that it is possible to use reactive induction therapy to reduce treatment time. A large-scale multicenter trial is under way in Israel to verify the results.
In addition to cost cutting, Dr. Dahari said short-term therapy would make it easier to treat patients with hepatitis C who have limited health care coverage.
This study was supported by a study by Beilinson Hospital, Rabin Medical Center, Petah-Tikva Hospital, Israel, of the Beesheba University Medical Center of the University of Soroka, David Yardeni, MD, Anat Nevo-Shor, MD, Daniela Munteanu, MD, Naim Abufreha, Dr. Orna Mor, MD, and Dr. Michal Cohen-Naftaly, MD, Orly Sneh Arbib, MD and Marius Braun, MD, of the Center for Liver Disease Research, Department of Health, Israel Shiba Medical Center, Israel.
The study's title is "Reactive induction therapy with DAA shortens the duration of treatment in 50% of HCV-treated patients."
The study was supported in part by Clalit, a health services organization from Israel and the US National Institutes of Health.
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