Monday, December 4, 2023

Cost Of Hepatitis C Medications

How Much Does Hepatitis C Treatment Cost

A cure at what cost? More states easing restrictions on Hepatitis C treatments

The cost of hep C treatment varies depending on the type of drug. However, an 8- to 12-week course can range from $54,000 to $95,000 .

For example, the price of a 12-week course of Zepatier can be as much as $54,600, and a 12-week course of Harvoni can cost as much as $94,500.

Without insurance, youre responsible for the full amount out-of-pocket. And even with insurance, the cost can range into the thousands, after adding in drug copays and coinsurance.

If you qualify for patient assistant programs, you might receive your medication for as little as $5 out-of-pocket.

Characteristics Of Base Case Population

We simulated a total of 150 unique HCV-patient profiles based on five age categories , three HCV genotypes that are prevalent in Japan , patients sex and METAVIR fibrosis score . The distributions of these HCV-infected patient profiles were estimated based on available data . The model did not include patients with HIV or hepatitis B virus co-infection as well as special groups at higher risk of HCV reinfection, such as those with hemodialysis, thalassemia, haemophilia or injection drug use. All patients were considered treatment-naïve because the current percentage of treatment-experienced patients in Japan is small.

Are There Ways To Cure Hepatitis C Other Than With Medications

Patients sometimes ask whether there are ways to treat hepatitis C other than taking medicines. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent hepatitis C. Once a person is infected, the only way to treat it is with prescribed antiviral medications.

Some patients worry that having hepatitis C means they will need a liver transplant. Only a very small fraction of people with hepatitis C require a liver transplant. By far, most people with hepatitis C never need a liver transplant. A transplant is performedonlywhen damage to the liver is extremely advanced and the liver is unable to perform its basic functions. A transplant provides a new working liver, but a transplant does not get rid of the hepatitis C virus in the patient. Patients with a liver transplant still need antiviral medication to cure their virus.

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Whats The Optimal Hcv Screening Strategy

Using a simulation model, Barocas, Tasillo, Eftekhari Yazdi, et al. compared the clinical costs, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of four HCV testing strategies: the existing one one-time testing for adults aged 40 or higher, 30 or higher, or 18 or higher. All strategies included targeted testing of people at higher risk, such as those who inject drugs. As shown below, expanded age-based strategies increased identification and lifetime cure rates.

Figure 3. HCV continuum of care over a lifetime, by strategy

The authors estimate that the existing strategy would identify 71% of all HCV-infected people, and 44% of them would be cured over a lifetime. Compared to existing screening, a strategy of age 18 or older would result in 256,000 additional people identified, 28,000 additional cures, and 4,400 fewer cases of hepatocellular liver cancer over the lifetime of this age group. For people born outside the baby boomer cohort, case detection rates would increase from 74% to 85%, and cure rates would increase from 49% to 61%. Overall, this would represent a 21% reduction in liver-attributable mortality, and an increase in life expectancy from 67.2 to 68.2 years among the affected population.

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Model Structure And Assumptions

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A decision-analytic Markov model was developed based on the results of previous studies. Fifteen exclusive health states were addressed, as shown in : METAVIR liver fibrosis states , liver fibrosis states achieving SVR , decompensated cirrhosis , hepatocellular carcinoma , liver transplantation , post liver transplantation and death. The model comprised the stages of treatment and disease progression. Patients received different treatment regimens when entering the model. Subsequent stages were determined according to their initial health state and treatment outcome. Annual cycles and lifetime horizon were adopted. The key assumptions of the study were as follows: spontaneous elimination of the virus was not considered patients received treatment only once, without considering further treatment after treatment failure or recurrence treatment compliance was 100% patients in F0F3 states would no longer experience disease progression after achieving SVR, while patients in F4 state with SVR and all patients without SVR would enter a stage of disease progression.

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Bad Treatment Advice From A Filipino Doctor

Below is a conversation thread I had with a Filipino whose mother needed Hep C treatment. Even though he wanted to get her medication through my Hep C Buyers Club his mothers doctor persuaded her not to allow it. Instead, they had to use their savings to buy exactly the same product for triple the price from their local pharmacy.

Tracking The Costs Of Hepatitis C Treatment

Researchers are continuing to create medications that shorten the duration of treatment for hepatitis C.

According to the Pharmacy Times, the cost of treatment can be as low as $54,600 for the 12-week course and the entry to the market of new, cheaper drugs is likely to continue to bring the cost of hepatitis C treatments down.

The level of insurance cover for hepatitis C treatments can vary, depending on a persons insurance policy and overall health.

Some insurance companies will pay for people whose hepatitis C has not responded to less-expensive treatments or for those who are already showing signs of liver damage.

Some insurance companies may require a person to prove they have been drug- and alcohol-free before authorizing treatment.

Insurance companies may believe people who fall into these categories will cost them less money.

If a person has a hepatitis C diagnosis, they may first ask what treatments their doctor recommends. Then, they should contact their insurance company to find out what medications their insurance plan may cover.

Even if an insurance plan does not provide cover for treatments, there are still some patient assistance programs that help reduce the costs of specific treatments.

To find out about these, people can try researching the following:

Obtaining additional financial assistance and discounts can sometimes be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

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Getting Help With Hepatitis C Costs

The biggest challenge for some is not achieving SVR-12 but affording the cost of HCV therapy. Even if you are able to cover the out-of-pocket expenses, your health insurer might very well deny your request for treatment.

This doesn’t mean you should give up or wait until your condition gets worse before trying again. There are different steps you can take to not only access treatment but make the drugs more affordable.

You May Not Need Treatment

The cost of the curing Hepatitis C – BBC Newsnight

Not everyone with hepatitis C will need to receive these expensive treatments. In up to of people with hepatitis C, the virus clears on its own within a few months without any need for medication. Your doctor will monitor you closely to see if your condition persists, and then decide if you need treatment.

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How Much Is Hcv Treatment Cost In Uk

The United Kingdom or UK has some programs for subsidized hep C treatments, however, there is a huge waiting list for treatment.

Right now, Harvoni cost in UK is $52,082 for 12 weeks treatment.

So, many people with hepatitis C, just order their meds online and get it delivered to their front door.

Many UK citizens dont want to wait until they have to deal with liver failure or liver cancer.

Something else that is really worth mentioning here is that the United Kingdom is really good at allowing their citizens to import life saving medicine from other countries.

So, there is never a hassle for a resident of the UK to get generic Harvoni, generic Epclusa, generic Sovaldi, generic Mavyret or generic Vosevi imported from India.

Its really very simple and straight forward to order hep C treatment from India and be cured in 84 days.

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Cost Burden Of Hepatitis C Virus Treatment In Commercially Insured Patients

Anita Wagner, PharmDThe American Journal of Managed Care

Rates of hepatitis C virus treatment in a commercially insured population doubled after availability of new direct-acting antivirals. Member out-of-pocket spending was kept low while the health plan bore 99% of spending on HCV medications.


Objectives: New direct-acting antivirals , introduced in late 2013, are effective for treating chronic hepatitis C virus infection but may pose substantial financial burden on patients and health insurers. We examined HCV medication use and costs in a commercially insured population.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: We used claims data for 3091 individuals with HCV infection . Outcomes included HCV medication use, inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket and health plan spending, and predictors of receiving new DAAs.

Results: Cumulatively, 9% of members with a diagnosis of HCV were treated with HCV medications in 2012 and this increased to 32% in 2015. Of 3091, 589 received new DAAs and 80% completed a 12-week treatment regimen. After new DAAs became available, average annual health plan spending on HCV medications increased from $2869 to $16,504 per HCV-diagnosed member , and OOP spending increased from $41 to $94 . Age and having liver cirrhosis were positively associated with receiving new DAAs, and a diagnosis of alcohol abuse was negatively associated with receiving new DAAs.

Am J Manag Care. 2019 25:e379-e387Takeaway Points


Setting and Data Source

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Parenteral Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis B Hepatitis D And Hepatitis C

Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses are all transmitted by what is known as the parenteral route. Parenteral simply means that these viruses can be introduced by all routes except through the intestinal tract, which leaves the door wide open in terms of possible exposure. Lets look at the possible transmission routes for each of these types of hepatitis virus more closely.

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Comparison of Hepatitis C Treatment Costs

Both Washington’s and Louisiana’s struggles underscore the difficulty in eliminating hepatitis C and the need for a comprehensive, well-funded strategy for actually getting people connected to treatment.

Both states had good plans, argued Sonia Canzater, the associate director of the Hepatitis Policy Project at Georgetown University. They just didnt have the full support necessary to actually implement those plans.

Its literally words in a PDF if theyre not receiving that long-term support to make sure these things actually happen, Canzater said.

Nearly every aspect of Washingtons plan other than the actual Netflix deal fell by the wayside due to budget shortfalls and the Covid-19 pandemic, state officials acknowledged.

Two reports produced as part of the hepatitis C initiative pitched countless public health interventions that were meant to make sure that people at highest risk for hepatitis C could get easy access to testing and treatment. They included standing up screening programs in emergency rooms, commandeering buses that could drive to far reaches of the state to test people for the virus, and making sure that clinics that treat people for opioid use disorder also could treat patients for hepatitis C. There was even talk of hiring a marketing firm to increase awareness of the initiative. Now, all of those ideas have at least temporarily been shelved.

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Hepatitis C Treatment In India

In April Indian drug manufacturing companies received a patent for producing the generic versions of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The generic version of these drugs are available in cities such as Bengaluru Hyderabad and Chennai at the cost of Rs70000 or around $1000 USD for the entire treatment regimen.

With the recent availability of these drugs patients are flocking to India from countries like Afghanistan Pakistan and Bangladesh Middle East Yemen and Iraq.Dr. Vidyasagar Ramappa consultant gastroenterologist Columbia Asia Hospital reported that approximately 40 percent of the patients he treats for hepatitis C are from outside India.

Dr. Nikhil Bondare another gastroenterologist from Narayana Health City reported that he treats at least two new hepatitis C patients from abroad every day.Due to the availability of this low-cost alternative for those afflicted with hepatitis C these cities in India will likely begin to attract a substantial increase in patients travelling from countries throughout the world.

Causes Of Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis C is a disease borne by blood or other body fluids of an infected person. Listed below are the most common ways of how a person gets infected by Hepatitis C.

  • Blood: When a person receives blood from a donor who already has Hepatitis C.
  • Needles and Syringes: If a person injects drugs, or the same needle or syringe is used from a person infected by the HCV.
  • Sexual Contact: When a person comes into sexual contact with a person infected by HCV without any precautions.
  • Infected Mother: A child gets infected by HCV if the mother has the disease during pregnancy.
  • Having Long-term Kidney Dialysis: Kidney failure can lead to a number of other health problems some of which can be fatal, kidney failure increases the risk of contracting Hepatitis C.
  • HIV: HCV is common among people who have HIV HCV viruses are transmitted in some of the same ways as HIV is transmitted, through the use of injection, drug use, sex without any precaution. When someone is infected with HIV and viral hepatitis, we say that they are co-infected.
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    But Stern largely declined to criticize the Washington jail systems lack of progress, given the struggles with responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. If a year or two from now we are still in the same place that we are now, we would need to be more critical of ourselves, Stern added.

    Louisiana has stood up more of the initiatives it promised than Washington, but it too has struggled with efforts to get hard-to-reach people, like those who inject drugs, into treatment.

    Lauren Richey, the medical director of the Infectious Disease Center at the University Medical Center in New Orleans, said Louisiana’s efforts have made it infinitely easier for liver doctors like her to treat people with these medicines. But she acknowledged, too, that its still difficult to get hard-to-reach people to come through the clinic door.

    We still have a lot of issues with young people, especially people actively using drugs. They still remain a challenging group to engage with, she said. In order for us to really get to the heart of this epidemic we have to invest in getting the people are the hardest to reach into care.

    The Patient Advocate Foundation

    High cost of Hep C drug a barrier to treatment

    This organization provides copay relief and a directory of national and local resources that can offset some of the financial burden of medical expenses.

    Whatever the cost, the benefit to the person to eradicate hepatitis C today and not deal with complications is immense, says Joseph Galati, MD, medical director for the center of liver disease and transplantation at Houston Methodist Hospital.

    The average person may not appreciate the savings from preventing somebody from getting liver cancer or a liver transplant or the disability associated with chronic hepatitis C, says Dr. Galati. Whatever the cost for treatment is, its a drop in the bucket when you look years down the line as far as the potential cost of living with hepatitis C.

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    Differences In Hepatitis B And C Treatments

    Guidelines for the medical treatment of a co-infection with hepatitis B and C have not been clearly set, according to Ibrahim Hanouneh, MD, a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. There are scant data and no standard-of-care recommendations, he says. But limited research suggests treatment for hepatitis C is still effective even in the presence of the hepatitis B virus, he adds.

    Medications for hepatitis C have improved dramatically in recent years. Not only are newer hepatitis C drugs easier for people to take, with fewer and less severe side effects, but theyre also effective, Alqahtani says, and cure rates are excellent.

    For chronic hepatitis B infection, however, theres currently no cure. Treatment involves slowing the progression of the virus and monitoring people for signs of liver damage, according to the CDC.

    For this reason, Alqahtani says, doctors try to determine which virus is dominant in people with co-infection. We check the liver to see which virus is more active, he says. If its hepatitis C, we treat that virus first. Once its cured, he says, the focus of treatment shifts to controlling hepatitis B.

    Treatment for co-infection comes with specific concerns that should be monitored by your healthcare team, including:

    • Liver transplant may be an option: People who develop severe cases of co-infection that result in liver failure may be candidates for liver transplant, Alqahtani says.

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    How Can You Treat Hepatitis C Without Insurance

    Treatment for hep C involves the use of antiviral drugs, which are medications that help the body fight off different viruses. Antiviral treatment often lasts 8 to 12 weeks.

    But since hep C treatment is expensive, medications arent always as accessible to those without insurance. Heres what you can do if you dont have insurance.

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    Stages Of Hepatitis C

    • The hepatitis C virus has multiple phases that impact humans in different ways:
    • The period of incubation. This is the period between the initial exposure and the onset of the disease. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, with 45 days the norm.
    • Hepatitis C is a type of acute hepatitis. This short-term disease lasts for six months after the virus enters your system. After that, some persons with the virus will be able to clear it independently.
    • Hepatitis C is a type of chronic hepatitis. The infection progresses to a long-term stage for most people who contract hepatitis C . A persistent hepatitis C infection can result in significant health concerns like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
    • This illness causes inflammation, which causes scar tissue to replace healthy liver cells over time. This typically takes 20 to 30 years, though it might happen sooner if you drink alcohol or have HIV.
    • Cancer of the liver. Cirrhosis increases the risk of liver cancer. Because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages, your doctor will ensure you have regular tests.

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