January 8, 2014
This article was reported by Healio.
Healio reported on a study in which a multidisciplinary support program increased the likelihood that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection would reach sustained virologic response (SVR) after treatment with pegylated interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin.
Researchers evaluated 447 patients' antiviral treatment for chronic HCV, including 131 patients in a multidisciplinary support program (MSP), 169 in an additional MSP group to validate MSP, and 147 in a control group. The MSP patients had access to two hepatologists and two nurses who each worked full-time; a pharmacist, psychologist, and administrative assistant who each worked part-time (20 hours a week); and a psychiatrist as needed. Approximately nine of 10 patients in both MSP groups reached end-of-treatment responses of 89.3 and 88.2 percent, respectively, whereas 79.6 percent of controls achieved it.
The researchers concluded that MSP participation was the important factor in achieving SVR among HCV patients with genotype 1, but MSP was not significant for patients with HCV genotypes 2 and 3. The researchers measured cost-effectiveness of the MSP using quality-adjusted life year (QALY) as the important metric. Findings indicated that MSP saved 2,476 euros and increased QALYs for genotype 1 or 4 patients. The researchers found that MSP was a cost-effective method of improving the likelihood of patients reaching SVR at the end of treatment by improving patients' compliance and increasing the efficiency of the treatment protocol.
The full report, "A Multidisciplinary Support Programme Increases the Efficiency of Pegylated Interferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin in Hepatitis C," was published in the Journal of Hepatology (2013; 59(5):926-933.).