Euroasian Journal of Hepato-Gastroenterology

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VOLUME 6 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2016 ) > List of Articles

REVIEW ARTICLE

Tackling HCV-3 in Asia: Breakthroughs for Efficient and Cost-effective Treatment Strategies

Naba Saeed

Citation Information : Saeed N. Tackling HCV-3 in Asia: Breakthroughs for Efficient and Cost-effective Treatment Strategies. Euroasian J Hepatogastroenterol 2016; 6 (1):35-42.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10018-1163

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-01-2016


Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known to cause chronic hepatitis C, and its sequelae of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C genotype 3 (HCV-3) in particular is notorious for causing accelerated liver fibrosis, cardiovascular, and metabolic effects, thus increasing morbidity and mortality. It is the commonest variant in Asian countries like India and Pakistan. It is also one of the hardest-totreat genotypes, especially among treatment-experienced and cirrhotic patients. Due to limited health care affordability and accessibility in these areas, many patients remain untreated. Until recently, the established therapy for HCV had been a combination of pegylated interferon + ribavirin. However, it was only effective in about half of patients and had severe adverse effects; hence a more efficacious option needed to be found. Recent advances have led to the development of sofosbuvir, an NS5B inhibitor that is fast becoming the standard of care, in combination with other novel drugs. It was initially marketed at $1,000 per pill, a cost that was too high for most. Thus, it has not been utilized as a global therapy as yet. Formulation of effective interferon-free regimens is a huge milestone, and awareness needs to be raised regarding these new highly effective options in both the physician and the patient population. This article discusses the newest drugs and combinations that have been developed in the fight against HCV-3, as a treatment outline for HCV-3-dominant areas. It also highlights recent breakthroughs in cost reductions of these drugs and the effort to make them globally accessible.


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