Primary Care vs Specialist for HCV Treatment

August 20, 2019
Veronica Hackethal, MD
Veronica Hackethal, MD

Is the expanding paradigm shift toward HCV treatment in primary care effective? Or, should it be left to specialists? Two recent studies shed light.

Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) were introduced in 2013, and have been linked to >90% sustained viral response (SVR), or undetectable viral load, which is considered a cure. Up to 4.6 million people in the US may be infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).1 Yet only a small percentage have been treated with DAAs since their introduction. Treatment of HCV usually occurs in the specialist setting, but primary care physicians (PCPs) offer a way to expand treatment with less loss to follow-up. Two new studies suggest using DAAs to treat patients with uncomplicated HCV is equally effective when provided by PCPs or specialists.