Understanding prescribing trends for hepatitis C treatment in Ontario

The introduction and wide availability of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) as a treatment for hepatitis C through a phased rollout from 2015 to 2018 held the promise of expanded access to treatment. These simpler treatments carried fewer clinical restrictions and required less specialist support, opening the possibility for primary care providers to treat their patients with hepatitis C. Given barriers to healthcare access for people who use drugs, those of us at the Toronto Community Hep C Program were curious to find out if this had in fact happened.

We collaborated with the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network to investigate this issue, with funding from the Applied Health Research Question program at the Ontario Ministry of Health.

This inter-professional collaboration, involving researchers, people with lived experience and healthcare providers, explored patterns of DAA reimbursement through Ontario’s public drug programs from public records.

Examining these prescriber patterns and this demographic information allowed us to understand who was being prescribed hepatitis C treatment, some of the remaining gaps, and ways that hepatitis C treatment access could be improved for people who use drugs.

BY MARY GUYTON, RN, JENNIFER BROAD AND KATE MASON.

Originally published on CATIE’s website, to read full blog click here.