Published online Mar 21, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i11.1327
Peer-review started: October 16, 2018
First decision: December 5, 2018
Revised: February 20, 2019
Accepted: February 22, 2019
Article in press: February 22, 2019
Published online: March 21, 2019
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of worldwide liver-related morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization released an integrated strategy targeting HCV-elimination by 2030. This study aims to estimate the required interventions to achieve elimination using updated information for direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment coverage, to compute the total costs (including indirect/societal costs) of the strategy and to identify whether the elimination strategy is cost-effective/cost-saving in Greece.
To estimate the required interventions and subsequent costs to achieve HCV elimination in Greece.
A previously validated mathematical model was adapted to the Greek HCV-infected population to compare the outcomes of DAA treatment without the additional implementation of awareness or screening campaigns versus an HCV elimination strategy, which includes a sufficient number of treated patients. We estimated the total costs (direct and indirect costs), the disability-adjusted life years and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio using two different price scenarios.
Without the implementation of awareness or screening campaigns, approximately 20000 patients would be diagnosed and treated with DAAs by 2030. This strategy would result in a 19.6% increase in HCV-related mortality in 2030 compared to 2015. To achieve the elimination goal, 90000 patients need to be treated by 2030. Under the elimination scenario, viremic cases would decrease by 78.8% in 2030 compared to 2015. The cumulative direct costs to eliminate the disease would range from 2.1-2.3 billion euros (€) by 2030, while the indirect costs would be €1.1 billion. The total elimination cost in Greece would range from €3.2-3.4 billion by 2030. The cost per averted disability-adjusted life year is estimated between €10100 and €13380, indicating that the elimination strategy is very cost-effective. Furthermore, HCV elimination strategy would save €560-895 million by 2035.
Without large screening programs, elimination of HCV cannot be achieved. The HCV elimination strategy is feasible and cost-saving despite the uncertainty of the future cost of DAAs in Greece.
Core tip: Elimination of hepatitis C virus (commonly known as HCV) cannot be achieved in Greece without the implementation of large awareness and screening programs, as treatment coverage will be suboptimal. To achieve the elimination goals, 90000 patients need to be treated by 2030. The overall cumulative cost of elimination would range from 3.2-3.4 billion euros by 2030. The HCV elimination strategy in Greece is feasible and cost-saving despite the uncertainty of the future cost of the direct-acting antivirals.