Published online Nov 21, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i43.12510
Peer-review started: June 6, 2015
First decision: July 10, 2015
Revised: July 28, 2015
Accepted: September 14, 2015
Article in press: September 15, 2015
Published online: November 21, 2015
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global health problem with high morbidity and mortality. About 185 million people are living with HCV, of which 80% are living in low and middle income countries. With the development of new highly effective treatments for HCV, it is considered that the eradication of HCV may only be one step away. The major problem with new treatment options is its high price. The price of sofosbuvir-based treatment for one patient in the United States is US$85000-110000, while the actual production cost of a 12 wk direct-acting antiviral regimen is less than US$250. Another major hindrance in HCV eradication is the lack of quality management of blood transfusion screens. Due to the lack of HCV screening, 75% of people in the United States with HCV infection are unaware of their positive HCV status. The control of massive HCV pandemic will require a significant financial investment, political will, and support from medical, pharmaceutical, and civil organizations around the globe.
Core tip: With the availability of new direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C virus (HCV), some people think that eradication of HCV may be only one step away. There are a number of issues that need to be overcome to win the fight against HCV. Although the cost of HCV treatment is reduced for certain countries, cost remains a big problem for low and middle income countries for the treatment of a large number of patients. In low income countries, 47% of blood transfusions are from laboratories with no quality management in place. There is a lack of knowledge and awareness about HCV among healthcare providers, policy makers, general public, and at risk populations.