Cost Effective Universal Screening Aids in Eliminating Hepatitis C

July 6, 2018  Source: News Medical 133

There is a strong recommendation in Europe that hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening should target people who are at high risk of infection. Public health data in France revealed that around 75000 people aged between 18 to 80 were infected by HCV in 2014. But the bitter fact is they were not aware of their status. At least one in ten cases were found to be at an advanced stage. Modern HCV treatments are highly effective and can cure the disease within a few weeks in over 95% of cases.

In response to the issue, the scientific team of Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah's Inserm and Sylvie Deuffic-Burban created a mathematical model to estimate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of varied screening strategies which includes universal screening.

The screening approaches were evaluated by targeting only the at-risk population, covering everyone aged between 18 to 80. The modeling results reveal that the universal screening aids in better life expectancy, compared to other strategies. Universal screening would become cost-effective if HCV affected patients were tested and treated quickly after diagnosis.

Sylvie Deuffic-Burban stated, "Screening, on an individual basis, enables rapid treatment, which avoids the development of serious complications. In time, collective screening helps eliminate hepatitis C from a population that has been screened without restrictions." He further concluded, "Although our model is unable to test the idea, the epidemiological similarities of HCV, HIV, and HBV suggest that universal and combined screening for these three viruses could be of particular interest."

By Ddu