Costs and outcomes of treating chronic hepatitis C patients in routine care – results from a nationwide multicenter trial

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Viral hepatitis is a major public health problem affecting millions of people worldwide. Long-term consequences are the development of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of the study was to assess outcomes and costs of treating patients with chronic hepatitis C in clinical practice in Germany. We carried out a prospective noninterventional study. Information on treatment outcomes, resource utilization and quality of life was provided by 281 physicians throughout Germany. Data of 3708 monoinfected HCV-patients treated between 2008 and 2011 were analysed. Therapy consisted of peginterferon/ribavirin. Mean age of patients was 43.7 years, 60.3% were male and estimated duration of infection was 13.6 years. Predominantly genotype 1 (61.3%) or 3 (28.5%) infections were observed. Sustained viral response (SVR)-rates in most frequently observed genotypes were 49.2% in GT-1 and 61.9% in GT-3 treatment-naive patients (Relapser: GT-1: 35.3% and GT-3: 57.3%; Nonresponder: GT-1: 25.0% and GT-3: 33.3%). Average treatment costs were lowest in treatment-naive patients (€18 965) and higher in patients who failed previous treatments (relapsers: €24 753; nonresponders: €19 511). Differences according to genotype were observed. Average costs per SVR in treatment-naive patients were €44 744 for GT-1 and €22 218 for GT-3. Treatment was associated with a decrease in quality of life; post-treatment quality of life was higher in patients achieving SVR. Our insight on real-life treatment outcomes and costs can serve as a reference for a comparison with other treatments. There is high need for short-term and long-term cost-effectiveness analysis in real-life settings as newly introduced treatment strategies with direct acting antivirals result in high SVR-rates but are more costly.

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