Urgency to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C in Asia

Jia Horng Kao, Sang Hoon Ahn, Rong Nan Chien, Mong Cho, Wan Long Chuang, Sook Hyang Jeong, Chen Hua Liu, Seung Woon Paik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection poses a global healthcare burden, being associated with serious complications if untreated. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highest in areas of Central, South, and East Asia; over 50% of HCV patients worldwide live in the region, where HCV genotypes 1b, 2, 3, and 6 are the most prevalent. Treatment outcomes for chronic hepatitis C vary by ethnicity, and Asian patients achieve higher sustained virologic response rates following interferon (IFN)-based therapy than non-Asians. However, low efficacy, poor safety profile, and subcutaneous administration limit the use of IFN-based therapies. Superior virologic outcomes have been observed with different classes of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) alone or in combination, and several all-oral DAA regimens are available in Asia. These regimens have shown excellent efficacy and favorable tolerability in clinical trials, yet there is a need for further studies of DAAs in a real world context, particularly in Asia. Furthermore, IFN-free treatment may not be accessible for many patients in the region, and IFN-based regimens remain an option in some countries. There is a need to improve current clinical practices for HCV management in Asia, including effective screening, disease awareness, and prevention programs, and to further understand the cost-effectiveness of IFN-free regimens. The evolution of potent treatments makes HCV eradication a possibility that should be available to all patients. However, access to these therapies in Asian countries has been slow, primarily because of economic barriers that continue to present a hurdle to optimal treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-974
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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  • Cite this

    Kao, J. H., Ahn, S. H., Chien, R. N., Cho, M., Chuang, W. L., Jeong, S. H., Liu, C. H., & Paik, S. W. (2017). Urgency to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C in Asia. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia), 32(5), 966-974. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgh.13709