Washington: A study reveals a dramatic transformation in the care of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), as more effective and tolerable medications have become available.
In an analysis of all HCV antiviral treatment regimens - a prescribed course of medical treatment - to 1,07,079 people initiated from 1999 through 2015 in the US Veterans Affairs national healthcare system.
The results indicated that Cure rates increased steadily from 19.2 percent in 1999 to 36.0 percent in 2010 before a remarkable increase to 90.5 percent in 2015.
"The introduction of effective direct antiviral agents together with the allocation of appropriate funds and resources allowed the VA healthcare system to treat and cure hepatitis C in unprecedented numbers," said senior study author Dr. George Ioannou.
In fact, out of approximately 57,500 patients cured of hepatitis C in the VA since 1999, approximately half were cured in a single year in 2015," Ioannou explained.
"The question is whether we are delivering these medications to the patients who need them and what obstacles there are to treating and curing the majority of hepatitis C infected patients," Ioannou noted.