The value of adding simeprevir (SMV) vs placebo (PBO) to peginterferon and ribavirin (PR) for treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection was examined using patient-reported outcomes (PROs); further, concordance of PROs with virology endpoints and adverse events (AEs) was explored. Patients (n = 768 SMV/PR, n = 393 PBO/PR) rated fatigue (FSS), depressive symptoms (CES-D) and functional impairment (WPAI: Hepatitis C Productivity, Daily Activity and Absenteeism) at baseline and throughout treatment in three randomised, double-blind trials comparing the addition of SMV or PBO during initial 12 weeks of PR. PR was administered for 48 weeks (PBO group) and 24/48 weeks (SMV group) using a response-guided therapy (RGT) approach. Mean PRO scores (except Absenteeism) worsened from baseline to Week 4 to the same extent in both groups but reverted after Week 24 for SMV/PR and only after Week 48 for PBO/PR. Accordingly, there was a significantly lower area under the curve (baseline-Week 60, AUC60 ) and fewer weeks with clinically important worsening of scores in the SMV/PR group at any time point. Incidences of patients with fatigue and anaemia AEs were similar in both groups, but FSS scores showed that clinically important increases in fatigue lasted a mean of 6.9 weeks longer with PBO/PR (P < 0.001). PRO score subgroup analysis indicated better outcomes for patients who met the criteria for RGT or achieved sustained virological response 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12); differences in mean PRO scores associated with fibrosis level were only observed with PBO/PR. Greater efficacy of SMV/PR enabled reduced treatment duration and reduced time with PR-related AEs without adding to AE severity.
Keywords: chronic hepatitis C; daily functioning; depressive symptoms; fatigue; health-related quality of life; simeprevir.
© 2014 The Authors. Journal of Viral Hepatitis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.