Clinicians' Views of Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Candidacy With Direct-Acting Antiviral Regimens for People Who Inject Drugs

Alice K. Asher, Carmen J. Portillo, Bruce A. Cooper, Carol Dawson-Rose, David Vlahov, Kimberly A. Page

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Scopus citations


    Background: Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are curative in most persons with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. However, high cost and concerns about adherence and reinfection may present continued barriers to treatment, particularly for people who inject drugs (PWID). Objective: To understand changes in assessments of treatment candidacy, given advances in treatment. Methods: Clinicians attending the Liver Meeting® in 2014 who reported prescribing HCV treatment in the past three years were invited to complete a survey regarding HCV treatment decisions. Participants assessed their likelihood to treat HCV in PWID in association with time of abstinence from injection drug use and what impacts their decision to provide treatment using interferon and DAAs. Results: 108 clinicians completed the survey; 10% were willing to treat an active PWID (last injection within 30 days) using interferon-containing regimens, and 15% with all-oral regimens. For each increasing time interval of injection abstinence, there was an increase in the odds of a clinician reporting willingness to treat with DAAs (Odds Ratio (OR) 2.57, 95% CI 2.18, 3.03) and with interferon-based treatment (OR 2.22 (95% CI 1.90, 2.61), Reinfection and medication cost were cited as most important concerns when determining candidacy. Conclusions: A cure is now the norm in HCV treatment, and there is an increasing need to address the barriers to treating PWID, the population with the highest burden of infection. Understanding treatment candidacy assessments is essential to improving uptake. This study provides insight into how clinicians view treatment candidacy in this era of DAAs and can help identify supportive treatment environments and concurrent programs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1218-1223
    Number of pages6
    JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Jul 28 2016


    • Hepatitis C treatment
    • abstinence
    • direct-acting antiviral hepatitis treatment candidacy
    • hepatitis C cure
    • injection drug use
    • people who inject drugs (PWID)
    • providers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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