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Survey Reveals Hepatitis Patients’ Attitudes Toward Current Treatment

Doctors recommend delaying therapy until new regimens become available (September 9)

BioTrends Research Group, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that approximately 40% of surveyed patients with treatment-naïve hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and half of the prior treatment-failure patients plan to receive an HCV antiviral regimen within the next year. However, most of the respondents did not know which regimen they will be initiating, and only 9% and 14%, respectively, indicated that they are planning to receive a treatment other than a currently available regimen.

Further, almost 40% of surveyed HCV patients also reported that their physicians recommended delaying treatment until new regimens become available, and the findings suggest that many patients are willing to wait for safer and more effective regimens, especially if their liver disease is not advanced.

The study also finds that awareness of therapies in development among HCV patients is low. Despite more than two thirds of the respondents indicating that they had discussed products in development with their physicians, more than three quarters of the patients lacked unaided awareness of any emerging HCV products.

“While most treatment-naive and prior treatment failure HCV patients who do not plan to be treated in the next year cite the future availability of better therapies as a reason, many of these patients specifically indicated waiting for interferon-free regimens to become available,” said analyst Mladen Tomich, PhD. “However, patients overall prioritized effects on liver damage progression and reversal, and achieving sustained virologic response, as the most important attributes in an HCV regimen, while exclusion of interferon or ribavirin was perceived as least important. Our research reveals that most HCV patients are prepared to endure a certain level of temporary disability as long as the treatment is efficacious.”

Of note, surveyed treatment-naive HCV patients believed that they have more influence on the management of their infection than their treating physicians. Also, the level of perceived personal influence over treatment decisions was significantly higher among surveyed treatment-naive patients than among treatment-experienced patients.

Source: PR Newswire; September 9, 2013.

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