Experts are exploring the possibility of shorter hepatitis C treatment regimens, which would save money and be just as effective for patients.
Hepatitis C patients are often cured before completing a treatment regimen, suggesting patients require less of the drugs needed to fight the disease, according to a recent study.
Researchers at Loyola University devised a mathematical model that predicts the length of time patients need direct-acting antiviral drugs, potentially limiting the cost of being treated with an expensive drug.
Using more frequent blood testing, the researchers were able to determine hepatitis C levels and predict when the drug sofosbuvir, combined with one of three others, could be stopped.
“Treatment currently is standardized to be given for a set period of time, not tailored to the patient,” Dr. Scott Cotler, a professor at Loyola University, said in a press release. “In many cases, this may result in the prolonged use of expensive drugs with essentially no additional positive effect.”
For the study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, researchers required 58 people with hepatitis C being treated at three medical centers in France. Each was treated for 12 weeks, with 19 receiving sofosbuvir and simeprevir, 19 given sofosbuvir and daclatasvir and 20 treated with sofosbuvir and ledipasvir.
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