Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States. The high morbidity and mortality due to untreated infection have prompted updated screening recommendations that now include one-time HCV screening for all patients born between 1945 and 1965, in addition to risk factor-based screening. Current guidelines recommend treatment for all patients with chronic HCV. Treatment for HCV genotype 1 has evolved dramatically since the approval of the direct-acting antivirals. The approval of ledipasvir-sofosbuvir, ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir and dasabuvir, and simeprevir with sofosbuvir has dramatically altered the treatment landscape. High sustained virologic response (SVR) rates favor treatment, yet access to care poses a challenge for patients and providers. Current and emerging data with new therapies indicate high SVR rates in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients, including patients with cirrhosis and in other special populations. Additional data suggest the addition of ribavirin can decrease treatment duration without compromising SVR rates. Resistance is an increasing area of interest in HCV, with baseline mutations identified and the potential for the development of resistance-associate variants in patients undergoing treatment. Due to the rapid evolution of HCV treatment, pharmacists should address challenges and play an integral role in agent selection, dosing, drug interaction screening, adverse effect monitoring, and the coordination of treatment. Clinical application of the latest information will reduce patient risk and improve outcomes.
Keywords: antivirals; dasabuvir; hepatitis C; ledipasvir-sofosbuvir; ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir; simeprevir; sofosbuvir.
© 2016 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.