More cost-effective route to curing hepatitis C highlighted in new study

Mathematical models and blood testing can be used to cut the cost of hepatitis C treatment, according to a new study published in the Journal of Hepatology.

For the study, researchers from Loyola University Health System and Loyola University in Chicago increased blood testing frequency to better monitor HCV levels in 58 chronic-HCV patients. Researchers then created mathematical models, allowing them to predict a cure date. The study's results suggest that HCV patients are often cured before they conclude their treatment.

"Treatment currently is standardized to be given for a set period of time, not tailored to the patient," said Scott Cotler, MD, director of Loyola's hepatology division. "In many cases, this may result in the prolonged use of expensive drugs with essentially no additional positive effect."

Researchers conclude that modifying HCV treatment duration to individualized patients could result in average cost savings of 16 to 20 percent per 100 treated patients.

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