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Hepat Mon. 2013 Apr 28;13(5):e8415. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.8415. Print 2013 May.

Direct medical care costs associated with patients diagnosed with chronic HCV.

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Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, IR Iran.



HCV virus (HCV) is a significant global problem with wide-ranging socio-economic impacts. Because of the high morbidity and mortality associated with end-stage liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the economic burden of HCV infection is substantial.


This study aimed to estimate the direct medical care costs of chronic HCV infection.


For this cross-sectional study, 365 courses of HCV treatment were extracted from medical records of 284 patients being referred to Tehran HCV clinic, a clinical clinic of Baqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver diseases, from 2005 to 2010. All the patients had been diagnosed with HCV. Direct medical care costs for each course of HCV treatment have been calculated based on Purchasing Power Parity Dollar (PPP$).


Average direct medical costs for the courses treated with conventional interferon plus ribavirin (INF-RBV) were 4,403 PPP$, and 20,010 PPP$ for peg-interferon plus ribavirin (PEG-RBV) courses. There was an increase of the direct costs in both courses of treatment to achieve Sustain Viral Response (SVR). The costs amounted to 10,072 PPP$ in (INF-RBV) treatment and 34,035 PPP$ in (PEG-RBV). The significant difference between the costs of these two courses of treatment is attributable to high cost of Peg-interferon. This indicates that the medication costs are the dominant costs.


According to the results, total direct medical costs for HCV patients in Iran exceeded 12 billion PPP$ in (INF-RBV) treatment and 55 billion PPP$ in (PEG-RBV).


Health Care Costs; Hepatitis C, Chronic; Peginterferon Alfa-2a

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