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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 
 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vol.32(5) : 966-974, 2017 
Journal Title
 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 
Issue Date
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use* ; Asia/epidemiology ; Genotype ; Health Care Costs ; Hepacivirus/genetics ; Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy* ; Hepatitis C, Chronic/economics ; Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology ; Hepatitis C, Chronic/prevention & control ; Humans ; Interferons/therapeutic use* ; Prevalence
Asia ; HCV clinical trials ; HCV treatment ; clinical ; hepatitis C
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.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Ahn, Sang Hoon(안상훈) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3629-4624
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