5 years ago

A path to eradication of hepatitis C in low- and middle-income countries

We are entering a new era in the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and almost all patient groups in high-income countries have the potential to be cured with all-oral, highly potent combinations of direct-acting antiviral drugs. Soon the main barrier to curing hepatitis C, even in wealthy countries, will be the high price of these all-oral regimens. The gulf between the advances in HCV drug development and access to treatment for individual patients will be even greater in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where 80% of the global burden of HCV infection and mortality exists. Ensuring that people in LMIC have access to regimens against HCV will require a similar level of advocacy and public–private partnerships as has transformed the control of other global diseases such as HIV. Numerous challenges will need to be overcome. These include improving low-cost diagnostic tests, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the false-positive rate is unacceptably high, reducing iatrogenic spread of HCV, addressing transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID), and ensuring affordable access to antiviral treatment for all people living with HCV infection in LMIC. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on “Hepatitis C: next steps toward global eradication.”

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0166354215000054

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