Barriers to hepatitis C treatment

Authors

  • Christopher E. McGowan,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, UNC Liver Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Michael W. Fried

    Corresponding author
    • Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, UNC Liver Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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Correspondence

Michael W. Fried, MD

University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Campus Box 7584, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA 27599-7584

Tel: 919 966 2516

Fax: 919 843 6386

e-mail: mfried@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Despite the availability of highly effective therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, few patients receive treatment. Barriers arising at multiple levels, from diagnosis to specialist referral, may impede the delivery of hepatitis C care. At the patient level, lack of awareness, fear of side effects, poor adherence and comorbid conditions may prevent treatment. For providers, limited knowledge, lack of availability and communication difficulties may be problematic. At the government and payer level, a lack of promotion, surveillance and funding may interfere. Each of these barriers needs to be addressed if wider implementation of antiviral therapy is to be achieved.

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