Barriers to access to hepatitis C treatment

  • Hava Yilmaz Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
  • Esmeray Mutlu Yilmaz Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
  • Hakan Leblebicioglu Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
Keywords: hepatitis C, treatment, antiviral drugs, viral load, anti-HCV

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Only 1%–30% of patients in need of treatment may get it. In recent years, the availability of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA) has been an important advancement in treating HCV infection. However, due to cost, it is not possible to receive these drugs in many countries where infection is endemic. In these low- and middle-income countries, the main barriers to controlling HCV infection are lack of knowledge about the infection, constraints on diagnostic testing and treatment, and lack of experts. Both national and international support are essential to overcoming these barriers. In low- and middle-income countries, interferon and ribavirin-based therapies still are the first choices due to their availability and to government payment support. In addition, in developed countries, efforts to provide lower-cost DAA drugs continue. Pharmaceutical companies continue to research manufacture of bio-equivalent drugs to reduce treatment costs. Considering the fake drug market, all developments need to be monitored closely by the institutions involved. This review focuses on barriers to hepatitis C treatment and ways to overcome those barriers.

Author Biographies

Hava Yilmaz, Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
2Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology
Esmeray Mutlu Yilmaz, Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
2Department of Critical Care Medicine
Hakan Leblebicioglu, Ondokuz Mayis University Medical Samsun, Turkey
2Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology
Published
2016-04-28
How to Cite
1.
Yilmaz H, Yilmaz EM, Leblebicioglu H (2016) Barriers to access to hepatitis C treatment. J Infect Dev Ctries 10:308-316. doi: 10.3855/jidc.7849
Section
Reviews