May 5, 2015

Continued Progress Against Hepatitis C Infection

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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JAMA. 2015;313(17):1716-1717. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.4368

The worldwide epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects more than 130 million people,1 includes health-related outcomes such as cirrhosis, reduces quality of life, and poses economic burden on societies. Yet, there has been progress in achieving HCV eradication, reaching sustained virological response (SVR) rates of 90% to 100%, even among patients with characteristics associated with lower response rates (ie, black/African American race, high viral load, HCV 1a subgenotype, presence of cirrhosis, and prior null response to then-available standard therapies). Additional progress has been made in reducing the effect of the epidemic because the majority of the new drug regimens are orally administered and interferon free, and some are ribavirin free as well. The availability of these regimens has resulted in improved tolerability of antiviral therapy, while broadening the potential use of these agents in several settings in which interferon, ribavirin, or both are contraindicated or difficult to administer.

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