The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Hepatitis C Screening for Migrants in the EU/EEA: A Systematic Review.
journal contributionposted on 10.09.2019, 14:08 by C Greenaway, I Makarenko, CNA Chakra, B Alabdulkarim, R Christensen, A Palayew, A Tran, L Staub, M Pareek, JJ Meerpohl, T Noori, I Veldhuijzen, K Pottie, F Castelli, RL Morton
Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) is a public health priority in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Migrants account for a disproportionate number of HCV cases in the EU/EEA (mean 14% of cases and >50% of cases in some countries). We conducted two systematic reviews (SR) to estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HCV screening for migrants living in the EU/EEA. We found that screening tests for HCV are highly sensitive and specific. Clinical trials report direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapies are well-tolerated in a wide range of populations and cure almost all cases (>95%) and lead to an 85% lower risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma and an 80% lower risk of all-cause mortality. At 2015 costs, DAA based regimens were only moderately cost-effective and as a result less than 30% of people with HCV had been screened and less 5% of all HCV cases had been treated in the EU/EEA in 2015. Migrants face additional barriers in linkage to care and treatment due to several patient, practitioner, and health system barriers. Although decreasing HCV costs have made treatment more accessible in the EU/EEA, HCV elimination will only be possible in the region if health systems include and treat migrants for HCV.