Background. Until recently, the approved treatment regimens for patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes (GTs) 2 and 3 contain sofosbuvir (SOF) and ribavirin (RBV) for 12 or 24 weeks. The impact of RBV-free pan-genotypic regimen with SOF and velpatasvir (SOF/VEL) on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of patients with genotype 2 and 3 has not been described.
Methods. PROs data were collected from participants of ASTRAL-2 and ASTRAL-3 studies before, during, and after treatment using 4 PRO instruments (Short Form-36, Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire-HCV, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, and Work Productivity and Activity Index: Specific Health Problem), and compared between the SOF/VEL and SOF + RBV groups.
Results. A total of 818 HCV patients were included: 78% treatment naive, 25% cirrhosis. The rates of nearly all adverse events were lower in the RBV-free SOF/VEL group (all P < .03). The SOF/VEL group also experienced improvement of their PROs by treatment week 4 (+1.8% on average across all PROs), which continued throughout treatment (+4.1%) and post-treatment (+5.5%). In contrast, those in the SOF + RBV group had a modest decline in their PROs starting at treatment week 4 (up to −3.7%), which lasted until the end of treatment (up to −6.4%). In multiple regression analysis, the association of a treatment regimen with end-of-treatment PROs was significant for nearly all PROs; the average beta was +5.0% for the use of SOF/VEL (reference: SOF + RBV).
Conclusions. Patients receiving ribavirin-free SOF/VEL reported significantly better PRO scores during treatment compared with those receiving the RBV-containing regimen. Furthermore, the interferon- and ribavirin-free SOF/VEL regimen resulted in a rapid improvement of PROs in HCV GTs 2 and 3 patients during treatment and after achieving sustained virologic response.