1Department of Medicine, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY, 14215, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
2AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, IL, USA.
3Genesis Research, Hoboken, NJ, USA.
4University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.
Introduction: Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy is highly effective in curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in people who inject drugs (PWID). Previous studies showed declining persistence to DAA therapy over the course of treatment. This study compares real-world medication persistence to prescription refills for 8- versus 12-week DAA in treatment-naïve PWID with chronic HCV with compensated cirrhosis or without cirrhosis.
Methods: Symphony Health's claims database was used to collect data from patients with chronic HCV aged ≥ 12 years who were prescribed 8- or 12-week DAA therapy between August 2017 and November 2020 and had a diagnosis of addicted drug use within 6 months prior to index date. Eligible patients had medical/pharmacy claims in the 6 months before and 3 months after the first index medication fill date (i.e., index date). Patients completing all refills (8-week = 1 refill, 12-week = 2 refills) were deemed persistent. The percentage of persistent patients in each group, and at each refill step, was determined; outcomes were also assessed in a subgroup of Medicaid-insured patients.
Results: This study assessed 7203 PWID with chronic HCV (8-week, 4002; 12-week, 3201). Patients prescribed 8-week DAA treatment were younger (42.9 ± 12.4 vs 47.5 ± 13.2, P < 0.001) and had fewer comorbidities (P < 0.001). Patients receiving 8- versus 12-week DAA had greater refill persistence (87.9% vs 64.4%, P < 0.001). Similar percentages of patients missed their first refill (8-week, 12.1% vs 12-week, 10.8%); nearly 25% of patients receiving 12-week DAA missed their second refill. After baseline characteristics were controlled, patients prescribed 8- versus 12-week DAA were more likely to be persistent (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 4.3 [3.8, 5.0]). Findings in the Medicaid-insured subgroup were consistent.
Conclusion: Patients prescribed 8- vs 12-week DAA therapy had significantly greater prescription refill persistence. Most nonpersistence was due to missed second refills, highlighting the potential benefit of shorter treatment durations in this population.