THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The total medical costs associated with interferon (IFN)-based antiviral treatment among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection average €14,559, with a mean cost of €38,514 per sustained virological response (SVR), according to a study published online March 18 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Raoel Maan, M.D., from the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the direct medical costs during IFN-based antiviral treatment and costs per SVR among patients with chronic HCV infection and biopsy-proven bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis. The study included 672 IFN-based treatments administered to 455 patients in five hepatology units of tertiary care centers in Europe and Canada.
The researchers found that the average total medical costs per patient were €14,559; with a mean cost per SVR of €38,514. Per SVR, the mean costs were €26,105 for patients with a normal platelet count, €50,907 for patients with thrombocytopenia, and €74,961 for patients with a platelet count below 100×109/L.
"Due to the lower SVR rates, the cost per SVR of IFN-based treatment increased when patients with more advanced liver disease were treated," the authors write. "Additional costs of IFN-free therapy could be limited among these patients."
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including GlaxoSmithKline, which funded the study.