The Economic Value of Improved Productivity from Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Retrospective Analysis of Earnings, Work Loss, and Health Insurance Data

Mark Sulkowski, Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, Dendy Macaulay, Yuri Sanchez-Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) may incur significant indirect costs due to health-related work loss. However, the impact of curative HCV therapy on work productivity is not well characterized. We estimated the economic value of improved productivity following HCV treatment. Methods: Adults diagnosed with HCV infection (Optum Healthcare Solutions data; Q1 1999 to Q1 2017) were stratified into two cohorts: (1) treated cohort, patients who received HCV therapy and (2) untreated cohort, therapy-naïve patients. For the treated cohort, the index date was set at the end of the post-treatment monitoring period, assumed to be 6 months after the end of treatment for patients with cirrhosis or for those treated with interferon-based therapy, and 3 months after the end of treatment for patients without cirrhosis who received interferon-free therapy. For the untreated cohort, an index date was randomly selected post-HCV diagnosis. Time from the index date to the first work-loss event was assessed using time to event analyses. An economic modeling approach was used to monetize the improved productivity from reduced risk of work-loss event in the 4 years post-index. Results: Patients in the treated cohort had a lower risk of experiencing a work-loss event compared to untreated patients [unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios and 95% CI 0.72 (0.61–0.86), and 0.68 (0.55–0.85), respectively; p < 0.001 for both]. The mean cumulative added productivity value associated with HCV treatment was US$4511 (CI $2778–$6278) at 1 year post-index and $21,429 (CI $12,733–$30,199) at 4 years post-index. Conclusion: HCV treatment reduces the risk of work loss resulting in productivity gains for employers and employees. The monetary value associated with these productivity gains is substantial, and, after about 4 years, it is comparable to the wholesale acquisition cost of some direct-acting antiviral regimens in the United States. Employers may derive economic benefits from adopting HCV elimination strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4709-4719
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • Economic value
  • Hepatitis C virus treatment
  • Infectious diseases
  • Work productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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