November 3, 2015 – Curant HCV program director, Amy Hampton, in Managed Healthcare Executive – In August, Bloomberg reported that Gilead, “...is setting ambitious goals to vanquish two major viral scourges: HIV and hepatitis B. The biotech company dominates the HIV market, estimating that about 80% of new patients starting therapy are prescribed a Gilead drug.”
Gilead’s landmark drugs Harvoni and Sovaldi are curing patients of hepatitis C thereby validating their place in the world of value-based care. The value of a $94,500 course of Harvoni that cures hepatitis C versus a $577,000 liver transplant is easy to understand. However we anticipate real-world cure rates are not reaching the 96% to 99% levels the drugs tout in their advertisements based on tightly controlled clinical trials.
What does all of this mean for HIV and managed care executives? Is a “cure” for HIV nascent? What will that cost? And are currently available value-based therapies being utilized to prevent new HIV infections?
How good is today’s “medicine” for HIV treatment?
“An HIV patient today, with access to the right pharmaceuticals and a highly engaged medication management protocol, is more likely to die from old age than HIV. The medicine is that good.” A colleague at an HIV clinic with a major university hospital told me that earlier this year. Here are two points of evidence to support this claim.
First, according to work done by Curant Health for the 1917 Clinic at the University of Alabama Birmingham (a Ryan White Grantee), out of 157 HIV patients whose viral loads were not suppressed prior to enrollment in Curant’s medication management protocols, 103 have now achieved viral suppression. For HIV, “viral suppression” is the outcome standard by which HIV therapy is measured. HIV medications don’t (yet) eradicate the virus completely, which is where HIV treatment now differs from hepatitis C.
Read Amy's article on Managed Healthcare Executive.
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