Nonspecialists Could Safely Provide Hepatitis C Care — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 8, 2017

Nonspecialists Could Safely Provide Hepatitis C Care

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Nonspecialists can safely manage the care of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who take direct-acting antivirals, suggests an industry-funded, nonrandomized trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Six hundred adults infected with HCV genotype 1 were assigned to receive ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir treatment provided by nurse practitioners, primary care physicians, or specialists. All providers underwent a 3-hour training session in HCV management.

At 12 weeks after treatment completion, rates of sustained virologic response were similar across provider types at roughly 85–90%. Patients who saw a specialist had the lowest adherence to follow-up visits (56%), compared with those who saw a primary care physician (63%) or nurse practitioner (74%).

The authors note: "Taken together, these results support decentralization of HCV treatment to facilitate greater therapeutic capacity for the many patients who remain untreated."

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