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Volume 52, Number 4, August 2019

Evaluation of cost-effectiveness of peginterferon plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C treatment and direct-acting antiviral agents among HIV-infected patients in the prison and community settings 

Cheng-Pin Chen, Chien-Yu Cheng, Huachun Zou, Chun-Han Cheng, Shu-Hsing Chen, Cheng-Kuo Chen, Ching-Hsiang Chen, Ming-Jong Bair


Background and purpose: 

In Taiwan, the majority of chronic hepatitis C carriers with HIV co-infection are intravenous drug users and inmates in correctional facilities. Peginterferon and ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV) have been the standard-of-care for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection more than decades. We evaluated the estimated cost-effectiveness of PegIFN/RBV from the National Health Insurance Research Database, covering the population of Taiwan from 1998 to 2013. 



This is an observational study, and study during was 2010–2016 and a total of 239 patients were treated with PegIFN/RBV. Of them, 156 patients were treated in the correctional facilities of Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and Taitung prisons, and 83 patients were treated in communities. The cost-effectiveness was analyzed in regimens of PegIFN/RBV and direct-acting antiviral agents.




By multivariate analysis, the patients completed PegIFN/RBV in prison (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 4.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.58–13.12, p = 0.005), HCV RNA level <800,000 IU/mL (aOR: 4.0, 95% CI: 1.27–12.66, p = 0.02) at baseline, and the presence of early virologic response (EVR) (aOR: 7.67, 95% CI: 1.89–31.06, p = 0.004) were independent predictors for sustained virologic response (SVR). For the subgroups of prisoners, HIV-infected prisoners and HIV-infected patients in communities, the SVR rate was 73.8%, 72.0% and 36.8%, and the average medical-care cost was US$7,701, $7,893, and $15,443 per SVR achieved, respectively. Also, the estimated medical-care cost for genotype 6 was US$9211. 



Chronic HCV/HIV co-infected patients with genotype 1 and 6 in the community setting could benefit from DAAs in Taiwan. 


Key words:

Chronic hepatitis CPrisonPegylated interferon plus ribavirinDirect-acting antiviral agents (DAAs)Cost-effectiveness