OBJECTIVES: To estimate the required coverage and costs of a national screening strategy to inform the launch of an HCV elimination program.
METHODS: We designed an HCV screening strategy based on a "stepwise" approach. This approach relied on targeting of people who inject drugs in the early years, with delayed onset of widespread general population screening. Annual coverage requirements and associated costs were estimated to ensure that the World Health Organization elimination treatment targets were met.
RESULTS: In total, 6 million individuals would have to be screened between 2018 and 2030. Targeting of people who inject drugs in the early years would limit annual screening coverage to less than 1 million individuals from 2018 to 2026. General population screening would have to be launched by 2026. Total costs were estimated at MYR 222 million ($58 million). Proportional to coverage targets, 60% of program costs would fall from 2026 to 2030.
CONCLUSIONS: This exercise was one of the first attempts to conduct a detailed analysis of the required screening coverage and costs of a national HCV elimination strategy. These findings suggest that the stepwise approach could delay the onset of general population screening by more than 5 years after the program's launch. This delay would allow additional time to mobilize investments required for a successful general population screening program and also minimize program costs. This strategy prototype could inform the design of effective screening strategies in other countries.
OBJECTIVE: To assist with achieving these goals and to inform the development of a national strategic plan for Malaysia, we estimated the long-term burden incurred by the care and management of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We compared cumulative healthcare costs and disease burden under different treatment cascade scenarios.
METHODS: We attached direct costs for the management/care of chronically HCV-infected patients to a previously developed clinical disease progression model. Under assumptions regarding disease stage-specific proportions of model-predicted HCV patients within care, annual numbers of patients initiated on antiviral treatment and distribution of treatments over stage, we projected the healthcare costs and disease burden [in disability-adjusted life-years (DALY)] in 2018-2040 under four treatment scenarios: (A) no treatment/baseline; (B) pre-2018 standard of care (pegylated interferon/ribavirin); (C) gradual scale-up in direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment uptake that does not meet the WHO 2030 treatment uptake target; (D) scale-up in DAA treatment uptake that meets the WHO 2030 target.
RESULTS: Scenario D, while achieving the WHO 2030 target and averting 253,500 DALYs compared with the pre-2018 standard of care B, incurred the highest direct patient costs over the period 2018-2030: US$890 million (95% uncertainty interval 653-1271). When including screening programme costs, the total cost was estimated at US$952 million, which was 12% higher than the estimated total cost of scenario C.
CONCLUSIONS: The scale-up to meet the WHO 2030 target may be achievable with appropriately high governmental commitment to the expansion of HCV screening to bring sufficient undiagnosed chronically infected patients into the treatment pathway.
METHODS: Opioid dependent PWID were interviewed and tested for HIV and HCV in five Ukrainian cities from January 2014 to March 2015. Logistic regression was used to examine the independent correlates of two cascade steps: a) anti-HCV positive status awareness; b) chronic HCV confirmation; and of c) annual HCV testing for PWID.
RESULTS: Among 1613 PWID, 1002 (62.1%) had anti-HCV positive test result, of which 568 (56.7%) were aware of it before the study and 346 (34.5%) reported previous confirmatory testing for chronic HCV. Independent correlates of being aware they had anti-HCV positivity included: current [AOR: 3.08; 95%CI: 2.16-4.40] or prior [AOR: 1.85; 95%CI: 1.27-2.68] opioid agonistic treatment (OAT) experience, relative to no prior OAT, living in Lviv [AOR: 0.50; 95%CI: 0.31-0.81] or Odesa [AOR: 2.73; 95%CI: 1.51-4.93] relative to Kyiv and being aware of having HIV [AOR: 4.10; 95%CI: 2.99-5.62]. Independent correlates of confirming HCV infection among those who were aware of their anti-HCV positive status included: current OAT [AOR: 2.00; 95%CI: 1.24-3.23], relative to prior OAT, the middle income category [AOR: 1.74, 95%CI: 1.15-2.63], relative to the lowest, and receiving ART [AOR: 4.54; 95%CI: 2.85-7.23]. Among 1613 PWID, 918 (56.9%) were either HCV negative or not aware of their HCV positive status, of which 198 (21.6%) reported recent anti-HCV test (during last 12 month). Recent anti-HCV test in this group was associated with current [AOR: 7.17; 95%CI: 4.63-11.13] or prior [AOR: 2.24; 95%CI: 1.32-3.81] OAT experience, relative to no prior OAT.
CONCLUSION: Encouraging PWID to participate in OAT may be an effective strategy to diagnose and link PWID who are HCV positive to care. Among HIV negative participants, regular HCV testing may be ensured by participation in OAT. More studies are needed to assess HCV treatment utilization among PWID in Ukraine and OAT as a possible way to retain them in treatment.