Current Status of Direct Acting Antiviral Agents against Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Pakistan

Khaliq, S.; Raza, S.Mohsin.

Medicina 54(5)


ISSN/ISBN: 1010-660X
PMID: 30400604
DOI: 10.3390/medicina54050080
Accession: 065744396

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In Pakistan, the burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the second highest in the world with the development of chronic hepatitis. Interferon-based combination therapy with ribavirin was the only available treatment until a few years back, with severe side-effects and high failure rates against different genotypes of HCV. Interferon-free all-oral direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) approved by the FDA have revolutionized the HCV therapeutic landscape due to their efficiency in targeting different genotypes in different categories of patients, including treatment naïve, treatment failure and relapsing patients, as well as patients with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis. The availability and use of these DAAs is limited in the developing world. Sofosbuvir (SOF), a uridine nucleotide analogue and inhibitor of HCV encoded NS5B polymerase, is now a widely available and in-use DAA in Pakistan; whereas daclatasvir was recently added in the list. According to the documented results, there is hope that this disease can be effectively cured in Pakistan, although a few concerns still remain. The aim of this article is to review the effectiveness of DAAs and the current status of this treatment against HCV genotype 3 infection in Pakistan; various factors associated with SVR; its limitations as an effective treatment regime; and future implications.