Pharmaceuticals Prevention Public Health

Can curing hepatitis C can help you live longer, even if you don’t have hepatitis C?

According to a paper this month in Value in Health from Anupam Bapu Jena, Julia Thornton Snider, Oliver Diaz Espinosa, Andy Ingram, Yuri Sanchez Gonzalez and Darius Lakdawalla, the answer is ‘yes’. The authors look at how curing chronic hepatitis C affects the likelihood of getting a liver, lung, heart, or kidney transplant for individuals living in the United Kingdom. Then–using a double-queuing model–they quantify this value. They find that:

Curing CHC [chronic hepatitis C] generates the most value for patients on the liver waitlist, because it increases the number of transplantable livers and reduces the need for transplants. Under the current opt-in policy, liver waitlist length falls by 24%, generating £34.3 million of annual net present value. Growth in the number of uninfected lungs, hearts, and kidneys generates an additional £19.2 million annually, with £18.7 million from kidneys. Implementing the opt-out policy, liver waitlist length would decrease by 75%, implying that treating CHC eliminates one-third of the excess liver waitlist due to an opt-in policy.

The authors find that the spillovers from treating CHC due increasing the number of organs available and the need for new organs is large. In most standard cost-effectiveness analysis, these spillovers have not been included in traditional value assessments of CHC treatment.

Very interesting work from some of my colleagues at Precision.


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