HCV: how can European nations broaden access to DAAs?

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Takeaway

  • A new article from the Journal of Hepatology examines restrictions on direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medications in Europe, why such restrictions are still in place, what has facilitated their removal, and what challenges remain for meeting the WHO goal of eliminating HCV as a major public health threat.

Why this matters

  • “While several countries in Europe—France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, and the Netherlands—via different approaches and timelines are on track to meet the WHO HCV elimination targets by 2030, this trend needs to be markedly expanded across the region,” said the study authors.

More information

  • The international group of authors, who are affiliated with health organizations in Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain, propose a range of strategies for achieving broad access to DAA therapy, including:
    • removal of reimbursement restrictions based either on disease stage or on recent drug or alcohol use,
    • expansion of prescriber protocols to include nonspecialists,
    • negotiations between governments and drug manufacturers leading to lower or discounted DAA prices,
    • strong advocacy from community-based organizations to support access and treatment for all.
  • Funding: The Kirby Institute; Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council; CanHepC Trainee Program, Canada.