Pan-genotypic Treatment Regimens for Hepatitis C Virus: Advantages and Disadvantages in High-and Low-income Regions

C. Hézode


J Viral Hepat. 2017;24(2):92-101. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


During the last 5 years, the availability of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents has revolutionized the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Compared with interferon/ribavirin—the previous standard of care—DAA combination regimens offer improved sustained virological response (SVR) rates, shorter treatment durations of 8–24 weeks, convenient once-daily single-tablet formulations and more favourable tolerability profiles. HCV treatment is complex, and the choice of therapy must consider a complex range of factors, including baseline viral load, fibrosis stage, the HCV genotype and subgenotype, and the presence of resistance-associated substitutions at baseline. Globally, HCV genotype 1 predominates, and there are extensive data and various treatment options available for this genotype. Genotypes 2–6 are prevalent and may even predominate in different geographical regions, reflecting diverse factors including human migration patterns and unsafe use of injection drugs and blood products. Such factors are themselves influenced by socio-economic factors, and poor regions often have the greatest unmet need for effective HCV therapies. The latest pan-genotypic DAA combination regimens provide the potential to eradicate HCV around the globe, regardless of genotype, hence minimizing the need for virological testing services, which often are unavailable in poorer regions. Economics inevitably remain a barrier to access, and extensive cooperation will be required between clinical organisations and pharmaceutical manufacturers to agree appropriate pricing policies, especially in poorer economic regions. This review considers key data and treatment guidelines for DAA therapies, including pan-genotypic combination regimens, in the context of regional differences in HCV genotype and socio-economic factors.