Liver International 2021

Progress towards hepatitis C virus elimination in high-income countries: an updated analysis.

Gamkrelidze I, Pawlotsky JM, Lazarus JV, Feld JJ, Zeuzem S, Bao Y, Pires Dos Santos AG, Gonzalez YS, Razavi H
Elimination of HCV by 2030, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is attainable with the availability of highly efficacious therapies. This study reports progress made in the timing of HCV elimination in 45 high-income countries between 2017 and 2019. Disease progression models of HCV infection for each country were updated with latest data on chronic HCV prevalence, and annual diagnosis and treatment levels, assumed to remain constant in the future. Modelled outcomes were analysed to determine the year in which each country would meet the WHO 2030 elimination targets. Of the 45 countries studied, 11 (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom) are on track to meet WHO's elimination targets by 2030; five (Austria, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Korea) by 2040; and two (Saudi Arabia and Taiwan) by 2050. The remaining 27 countries are not expected to achieve elimination before 2050. Compared to progress in 2017, South Korea is no longer on track to eliminate HCV by 2030, three (Canada, Germany, and Sweden) are now on track, and most countries (30) saw no change. Assuming high-income countries will maintain current levels of diagnosis and treatment, only 24% are on track to eliminate HCV by 2030, and 60% are off track by at least 20 years. If current levels of diagnosis and treatment continue falling, achieving WHO's 2030 targets will be more challenging. With less than ten years remaining, screening and treatment expansion is crucial to meet WHO's HCV elimination targets. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.