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Keywords:

  • boceprevir;
  • cirrhosis;
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • hepatitis C;
  • stopping rules;
  • telaprevir;
  • treatment design

Abstract

Treatment with first generation protease inhibitors (PIs) is a milestone in the history of HCV therapy. Triple therapy with boceprevir (BOC) improves sustained virological response (SVR) by 30% in treatment naïve genotype 1 patients and by 50–60% in relapsers, 40–45% in partial responders and 25% in null responders compared with the Pegylated Interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin regimen. To optimize BOC treatment, screening and access to treatment must be improved in genotype 1 patients. To select the ideal candidate for immediate treatment with triple therapy, an individual risk/benefit ratio must be assessed. Recent data have shown that patients with compensated cirrhosis and more advanced disease may also benefit from this regimen. Moreover, in HCV patients with extrahepatic manifestations, patients with HCV recurrence after liver transplantation and HIV-HCV co-infected patients, immediate treatment with triple therapy should be discussed. There is growing evidence that triple therapy with BOC is cost-effective in genotype 1 patients. Finally, the treatment design of BOC must be optimized in relation to baseline characteristics, so that optimal stopping rules can be followed, Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) can be prevented and AEs can be accurately prevented and managed.