Source Global Health Outcomes, Merck & Co. Inc., West Point, PA, USA Center for Disease Analysis, Kromite, Louisville, CO, USA.
There are approximately 100 drugs in development to treat hepatitis C. Over the next decade, a number of new therapies will become available. A good understanding of the cost of hepatitis C sequelae is important for assessing the value of new treatments. The objective of this study was to assess the economic burden data sources for hepatitis C in the United States. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies reporting the costs of hepatitis C sequelae in the United States. Over 400 references were identified, of which 50 were pertinent. The costs were compiled and adjusted to 2010 constant US dollars using the medical component of the consumer price index (CPI). The cost of liver transplants was estimated at $201 110 ($178 760-$223 460), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at $23 755-$44 200, variceal haemorrhage at $25 595, compensated cirrhosis at $585-$1110, refractory ascites at $24 755, hepatic encephalopathy at $16 430, sensitive ascites at $2450, moderate chronic hepatitis C at $155, and mild chronic hepatitis C at $145 per year per person. All studies were traced back to a handful of publications in the 1990s, which have provided the basis for all sequelae-based cost estimates to date. Hepatitis C imposes a high economic burden. Most cost analysis is more than 10 years old, and more research is required to update the sequelae costs associated with HCV infection.