Optimizing Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Treatment in a US Colocated HCV/Opioid Agonist Therapy Program
Date of Original Version
A minority of patients with opioid use disorder are treated for hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). While colocated HCV and opioid agonist therapy (OAT) along with harm reduction can facilitate prevention and cascade to cure, there are few real-world examples of such embedded care models in the United States in the direct-acting antiviral (DAA) era. Methods
We conducted a retrospective chart review to determine sustained virologic response (SVR) and reinfection rates during the first 5-year period of DAA availability among individuals tested and treated on-site at Rhode Island’s only nonprofit methadone maintenance program. Results
Of 275 who initiated DAAs, the mean age (range) was 43 (22–71) years, 34.5% were female, 57.5% had genotype 1a, 23.3% had cirrhosis, and 92% were Medicaid recipients. SVR was 85.0% (232/273), while modified intent-to-treat SVR was 93.2% (232/249); 17 patients did not achieve SVR, 2 awaited SVR 12 weeks post-end-of-treatment, and 24 were lost to follow-up. Thirty reinfections were identified over 375.5 person-years of follow-up (rate, 7.99/100 person-years). The median time to first reinfection (interquartile range) was 128 (85.25–202.5) days. Before July 1, 2018, 72 patients accessed DAAs over 3.7 years; after Medicaid DAA restrictions were lifted, 109 patients accessed DAAs over 1.3 years. The Prior Authorization (PA) process requires many steps, differing across 11 RI insurers, taking 45–120 minutes per patient. Conclusions
DAA treatment was effective among a marginalized population in an urban colocated OAT/HCV program. Removing DAA restrictions facilitates treatment initiation. The PA process remains a modifiable barrier to expanding capacity in the United States.
Jackie Habchi, Aurielle M Thomas, Sophie Sprecht-Walsh, Elenita Arias, Jeffrey Bratberg, Linda Hurley, Susan Hart, Lynn E Taylor, Optimizing Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Treatment in a US Colocated HCV/Opioid Agonist Therapy Program, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 7, Issue 10, October 2020, ofaa310, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa310
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