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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 24;10(6):e0125214. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125214. eCollection 2015.

Modeling the Health and Economic Burden of Hepatitis C Virus in Switzerland.

Author information

Swiss HPB (Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary) Center and Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
Arud Centres for Addiction Medicine, Zürich, Switzerland.
Gastroenterology Department, Ospedale Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Center for Disease Analysis (CDA), Louisville, Colorado, United States of America.
Consultant, Ruelle des Chataigniers 1, CH-1026 Denges VD, Switzerland.
Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital, Genève, Switzerland.



Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of liver disease in Switzerland and carries a significant cost burden. Currently, only conservative strategies are in place to mitigate the burden of hepatitis C in Switzerland. This study expands on previously described modeling efforts to explore the impact of: no treatment, and treatment to reduce HCC and mortality. Furthermore, the costs associated with untreated HCV were modeled.


Hepatitis C disease progression and mortality were modeled. Baseline historical assumptions were collected from the literature and expert interviews and strategies were developed to show the impact of different levels of intervention (improved drug cure rates, treatment and diagnosis) until 2030.


Under the historical standard of care, the number of advanced stage cases was projected to increase until 2030, at which point the annual economic burden of untreated viremic infections was projected to reach €96.8 (95% Uncertainty Interval: €36 - €232) million. Scenarios to reduce HCV liver-related mortality by 90% by 2030 required treatment of 4,190 ≥F2 or 3,200 ≥F3 patients annually by 2018 using antivirals with a 95% efficacy rate. Delaying the implementation of these scenarios by 2 or 5 years reduced the impact on mortality to 75% and 57%, respectively.


With today's treatment efficacy and uptake rates, hepatitis C disease burden is expected to increase through 2030. A substantial reduction in disease burden can be achieved by means of both higher efficacy drugs and increased treatment uptake. However, these efforts cannot be undertaken without a simultaneous effort to diagnose more infections.

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