1 Department of Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, United States of America.
2 Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence (CORE), Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, United States of America.
3 Department of Medicine, Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America.
4 Department of Biostatistics, Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America.
5 Data Core Services, Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America.
6 Department of Biostatistics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, United States of America.
Data on initiation and utilization of direct-acting antiviral therapies for hepatitis C virus infection in the United States are limited. This study evaluated treatment initiation, time to treatment, and real-world effectiveness of direct-acting antiviral therapy in individuals with hepatitis C virus infection treated during the first 2 years of availability of all-oral direct-acting antiviral therapies.
A retrospective cohort analysis was undertaken using electronic medical records and chart review abstraction of hepatitis C virus-infected individuals aged >18 years diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015 from the Indiana University Health database.
Eight hundred thirty people initiated direct-acting antiviral therapy during the 2-year observation window. The estimated incidence of treatment initiation was 8.8%±0.34% at the end of year 1 and 15.0%±0.5% at the end of year 2. Median time to initiating therapy was 300 days. Using a Cox regression analysis, positive predictors of treatment initiation included age (hazard ratio, 1.008), prior hepatitis C virus treatment (1.74), cirrhosis (2.64), and history of liver transplant (1.5). History of drug abuse (0.43), high baseline alanine aminotransferase levels (0.79), hepatitis B virus infection (0.41), and self-pay (0.39) were negatively associated with treatment initiation. In the evaluable population (n = 423), 83.9% (95% confidence interval, 80.1-87.3%) of people achieved sustained virologic response.
In the early years of the direct-acting antiviral era, <10% of people diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection received direct-acting antiviral treatment; median time to treatment initiation was 300 days. Future analyses should evaluate time to treatment initiation among those with less advanced fibrosis.