Treatment eligibility criteria for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment are improving in the US; however, barriers to achieving optimal care remain. Implementing strategies such as engaging in public and provider education and ensuring that treatment by primary care providers is reimbursed can improve access. This according to a qualitative study that examined strategies for improving HCV treatment access in the US. Researchers used semistructured key informant interviews focused on aspects of HCV treatment access between June 2016 and March 2017. 18 health officials and treatment advocates across 6 states were included. Among the findings:
- Drug pricing is the most important barrier to access.
- The effect of stigma, a shortage of treating providers, and a lack of political motivation are challenges to expanded treatment.
- The response to the HIV epidemic can augment or inform strategies for HCV treatment delivery.
- Ensuring that treatment by primary care providers is reimbursed can also improve access.
Kapadia SN, Johnston CD, Marks KM, Schackman BR, Martin EG. Strategies for improving hepatitis C treatment access in the United States: State officials address high drug prices, stigma, and building treatment capacity. [Published online ahead of print June 20, 2018]. J Public Health Manag Pract. doi:10.1097/PHH.0000000000000829.
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