ASCEND trial to test HCV treatment in primary care setting



The new ASCEND trial will examine whether primary care physicians can use a new antiviral therapy to treat hepatitis C virus as effectively as specialists do, according to a press release from the National Institutes of Health.

While past treatments for HCV were long-term, complex, and generally required a specialist physician, new drug developments may not require such in-depth treatment and could be handled by a primary care physician. The ASCEND study will involve 600 patients in the Washington, D.C. area, with 350 patients continuing their normal treatment with a specialist, and 250 patients receiving their treatment at a primary care location. Both groups will receive the same medication.

“The recent advent of direct-acting antiviral medications has offered promising new treatment options for people who are chronically infected with hepatitis C,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said. “The ASCEND study will help determine whether these medications are similarly effective when administered in an urban, community-based setting.”

Find the full press release on the NIH website.

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