Routine Testing for Hepatitis C Can Cut Costs, Save Lives

Routine Testing for Hepatitis C Can Cut Costs, Save Lives
Larissa Yehle, Pharm.D., Coborns CSC

According to the American Journal of Medicine, testing has shown that routine screening for adults over 18 years of age for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is more beneficial than the typical, previously used, risk-targeted screening. A simulation was performed to compare the two models between 57 different federally qualified health centers. Outcomes that were evaluated include: life expectancy, quality-adjusted life years, cases identified, cases treated and cured, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. In the first month of the study 68% more cases were identified by using a routine rapid test rather than the previous risk targeted screening approach. Overall, routine testing led to 75% case identification, compared to targeted screening of seven percent, over the course of the study which led to a 22% reduction in deaths among those with liver cirrhosis. These study findings led the CDC and U.S. Prevention Services Task Force to update their recommendations to include a one-time HCV testing screening for all adults over the age of 18. 

Reference:

  1. Karlovitch, S. Routine testing for hepatitis C can cut costs, save lives. Pharmacy Times. www.pharmacytimes.com/news/routine-testing-for-hepatitis-c-can-cut-costs.... Published July 10, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.