Segment 3 - Engaging Patients in Discussions About Treating Hepatitis C

Despite the relatively inexpensive 1-time tests to screen for hepatitis C virus (HCV), Dr Fendrick and the panel explore the concerns that plan sponsors may have regarding the costs of new specialty drugs made to treat HCV.

Despite the relatively inexpensive 1-time tests to screen for hepatitis C virus (HCV), Dr Fendrick and the panel explore the concerns that plan sponsors may have regarding the costs of new specialty drugs made to treat HCV. Plan sponsors and commercial insurers know that there may be 3.2 to 4 million people in the United States who are positive for HCV. In the past, because testing was so burdensome, patients and plans weren’t so eager to screen for the disease. While new tests may ease those attitudes, the concern moving forward might be shifting toward the costs of the new specialty drugs tailored to treat HCV.

“There are advances in technology and evaluation of liver disease that make a very simple cost-effective strategy,” says Dr Afdhal “We can work on the specialty to create the best possible scenario for evaluation of patients cost-effectively so that we can determine which patients are suitable [for treatment].”

Dr Winston adds that HCV is a progressive liver disease—with time, more people will get chronic liver disease. A positive test needs to be addressed by providers so they can understand treatment options and the costs associated with those options.