Background: The cost of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) prompted many payers to restrict treatment to patients who met non-evidence-based criteria. These restrictions have implications for survival of people with HCV, especially for people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV coinfection who are at high risk for liver disease progression. The goal of this work was to estimate the effects of DAA access policies on 10-year all-cause mortality among people with HIV.
Methods: The study population included 3056 adults with HIV in the Women's Interagency HIV Study and Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study from 1 October 1994 through 30 September 2015. We used the parametric g-formula to estimate 10-year all-cause mortality under DAA access policies that included treating (i) all people with HCV; (ii) only people with suppressed HIV; (iii) only people with severe fibrosis; and (iv) only people with HIV suppression and severe fibrosis.
Results: The 10-year risk difference of treating all coinfected persons with DAAs compared with no treatment was -3.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], -9.1% to .6%). Treating only those with suppressed HIV and severe fibrosis yielded a risk difference of -1.1% (95% CI, -2.8% to .6%), with 51% (95% CI, 38%-59%) of coinfected persons receiving DAAs. Treating a random selection of 51% of coinfected persons at baseline decreased the risk by 1.9% (95% CI, -4.7% to .3%).
Conclusions: Restrictive DAA access policies may decrease survival compared to treating similar proportions of people with HIV/HCV coinfection with DAAs at random. These findings suggest that lives could be saved by thoughtfully revising access policies.
Keywords: antiretroviral therapy; direct-acting antivirals; hepatitis C virus; human immunodeficiency virus; population intervention effects.
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