In a study led by Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, an assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, investigators developed a computer model to assess the cost-effectiveness of a new treatment for hepatitis C. Their model showed that for people with advanced disease the cost was justified in terms of results.
The treatment involves use of two drugs called protease inhibitors -- boceprevir (brand name Victrelis) and telaprevir (brand name Incivek) -- in addition to interferon and an antiviral.
While the new treatment is expensive and may cause side effects, it could reduce patients' risks for cancer and liver transplants, thereby avoiding those costly events and possibly helping patients live longer, better lives, the researchers pointed out in a journal news release.
Yet another study in the journal recommends one-time screening of all those born between 1945 and 1965, instead of waiting until symptoms appear.
For more information on hepatitis, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Scott Holmberg, M.D., M.P.H., chief, epidemiology and surveillance branch, division of viral hepatitis, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine, director, Schiff Liver Institute/Center for Liver Diseases, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Feb. 21, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine
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