Clin Mol Hepatol.  2017 Mar;23(1):74-79. 10.3350/cmh.2016.0052.

Barriers to treatment of failed or interferon ineligible patients in the era of DAA: single center study

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.


Interferon-based treatment is not appropriate for a large number of patients with chronic hepatitis C for various medical and social reasons. Newly developed directly acting antivirals (DAAs) have been used to treat chronic hepatitis C without severe adverse effects and have achieved a sustained viral response (SVR) rate of 80-90% with short treatment duration. We were interested to determine whether all patients who failed to respond to or were ineligible for interferon-based therapy could be treated with DAAs.
Medical records of patients with positive serum anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) or HCV RNA between January 2009 and December 2013 were reviewed. Demographic, clinical, and treatment data were collected for analysis.
A total of 876 patients were positive for both anti-HCV and HCV RNA. Of these, 244 patients were eligible for interferon, although this was associated with relapse in 39 (16%) of patients. In total, 130 patients stopped interferon therapy (67% adverse effects, 28% non-adherent, 4% malignancy, 1% alcohol abuse) and 502 patients were ineligible (66% medical contraindications, 25% non-adherent, 5% socioeconomic problems). Among 671 patients who were ineligible for or failed to respond to interferon therapy, more than 186 (27.7%) could not be treated with DAA due to financial, social, or cancer-related conditions.
Newly developed DAAs are a promising treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C who are ineligible for or failed to respond to interferon-based therapy. Nevertheless, not all chronic hepatitis C patients can be treated with DAAs due to various reasons.


Hepatitis C; Direct acting antivirals; Interferons
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