In 2015, Spain launched a national eradication strategy for hepatitis C virus (HCV), resulting in the highest treatment rate in Europe and substantial reductions in HCV prevalence. However, to achieve the goal of HCV elimination, it is necessary to scale-up the diagnosis, treatment, and management of HCV infection.
Our aim was to assess the prevalence, incidence, and cost effectiveness of scaling-up compared with status quo scenarios.
A compartmental dynamic transmission model was developed comprising of a cascade of care and a liver progression module. Cost and quality-of-life inputs were sourced from the literature. Key outcomes were the prevalence and incidence of HCV and the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) and per life-year (LY). Outcomes for a hypothetical elimination strategy were compared with the status quo.
The base-case analysis found that scaling-up testing and treatment reduced both the prevalence and incidence of HCV over time, resulting in incremental costs per QALY and LY of €13,291 and €12,285 respectively, compared with the status quo. The main drivers of the cost-effectiveness results included cost of diagnosis, cost of treatment, proportion of people who are unaware, percentage of population who inject drugs, and calibration parameters related to HCV infection prevalence.
This analysis demonstrated that scaling-up testing and treatment with direct-acting antivirals may be an efficient strategy for reducing the incidence and prevalence of HCV and may help achieve HCV elimination goals in Spain.