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New treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be highly effective but are associated with substantial costs that may compel clinicians and patients to consider delaying treatment. However, a new study shows that immediate treatment of HCV-infected patients with moderate or advanced liver scarring is cost-effective. Immediate treatment of patients with minimal or no scarring can be cost-effective as well, particularly when lower treatment costs are assumed.
"The devastating effects of hepatitis C continue to threaten the health of many Americans, with baby boomers at particular risk," says Dr. John Ward, co-author of the study published in the journal Hepatology and director of CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. "This analysis of treatment available for hepatitis C describes specific scenarios when immediate or earlier treatment can be both cost-effective and increase quality of life."