Barriers to HCV treatment in the era of triple therapy: a prospective multi-centred study in clinical practice


  • All authors contributed equally.


Background & Aims

(i) To describe the demographic, clinical, virological and histological characteristics of the patients undergoing evaluation for indication of triple therapy against hepatitis C virus genotype 1, and to identify the reasons why candidate patients are excluded; and (ii) to evaluate the characteristics of the healthcare environment related to treatment.


Observational, prospective and multi-centred study involving 16 hospitals of Spain. Data were collected on 1122 patients receiving attention in the outpatient clinics between June and December 2012.


Of the 1122 patients evaluated, 769 were finally included in this study; 27% (211/769) had contraindications to the therapy. Of those without contraindications, 54% (301/558) did not receive the treatment, and so, only about a third of the patients (33%–257/769) underwent therapy. The reasons for not initiating therapy were as follows: patient refusal (30%), mild disease/awaiting new treatments (34%), restrictions by the health service (30%), other reasons (6%). In univariate analyses, the probability of receiving treatment was related to: age <60 years, male gender, high education level, advanced fibrosis, having had previous treatment, being assessed in a centre of excellence. In multivariate analyses, the factors independently related to the probability of receiving treatment were as follows: high education level of the patients (P = 0.004), advanced fibrosis (P < 0.001) and centres of excellence (P = 0.009).


Despite the high efficacy of triple therapy, only a small proportion of patients receive the treatment. The causes related to non-treatment depend on patient factors, disease stage and characteristics of the health-service provision.