Currently most effective directly-acting antiviral agent for hepatitis C (HCV) treatment has already arrived to Ukraine! Alliance for Public Health launches the third phase of HCV treatment program for key populations. This phase stipulates using a direct-acting antiviral agent, which is new for Ukraine – Harvoni (sofosbuvir/ledipasvir) – as well as continuing using sofosbuvir-based regimens. Those drugs are highly effective and demonstrate much fewer side effects as compared to the traditional pegylated interferon-based regimens. According to WHO, at least 94% of patients can be cured with such drugs (treatment success rate may be up to 100%) (http://www.who.int/hepatitis/news-events/hepatitis-c-guidelines-2016-story/en/). Both drugs are recommended by WHO for hepatitis C treatment (Guidelines for the Screening, Care and Treatment of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis C Infection http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/205035/1/9789241549615_eng.pdf?ua=1), as well as the national guidelines (Unified Clinical Protocol of Primary, Secondary (Specialized), and Tertiary (Highly Specialized) Medical Aid “Viral Hepatitis C in Adults” http://www.dec.gov.ua/mtd/_VirysGepatytC.htm ).
Within the third phase of the Program, Alliance plans to provide free access to innovative HCV treatment to 750 patients – members of key populations and military troops taking part in the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine. Drugs for 500 treatment courses, which are already at the warehouse of Alliance, have been donated.
Treatment will be delivered in 21 healthcare facilities (20 state-run institutions and 1 private clinic) in 15 regions of Ukraine. In total, starting from June 2015, treatment was provided in 25 healthcare facilities in 19 regions of Ukraine. Alliance is considering a possibility of further program expansion. For the first time, the list of healthcare institutions will include the Main Military Hospital with a special quota for the military servicemen (20 treatment courses).
In the beginning of February, Alliance will organize training for the medical doctors who will prescribe new regimens in line with the WHO guidelines and the updated national protocol of HCV treatment.
As of 1 January 2017, access to treatment within the Alliance hepatitis C treatment program was provided to 1,207 patients representing key populations, 78% of whom are HIV-positive. Treatment success rate among the patients, who already had their follow-up tests 12 weeks after treatment completion, is 94%.
Alliance also makes all the efforts to ensure inclusion of Harvoni and other essential direct-acting antivirals to the national list of essential medicines to be procured with national and local budget funds.Unfortunately, the draft list published at the website of the Ministry of Health does not contain any of the direct-acting antivirals, which have been procured by Alliance for over two years.
Healthcare facilities to implement the third phase of the program
|Oblast/City||Name of Healthcare Facility|
|Dnipropetrovsk oblast||Kryvyi Rih Infectious Disease Hospital N 1|
|Y.G. Popkova Dnipropetrovsk City Clinical Hospital N 21|
|Ivano-Frankivsk oblast||Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Infectious Disease Hospital|
|Poltava oblast||Poltava Oblast Clinical Hospital|
|Poltava Oblast AIDS Center|
|Rivne oblast||Rivne Oblast AIDS Center|
|Khmelnytskyi oblast||Khmelnytskyi Oblast AIDS Center|
|Donetsk oblast||Mariupol AIDS Center at the City Hospital N 4 named after I.K. Matsuk|
|Sumy oblast||Sumy Oblast Infectious Diseases Hospital named after Z.Y. Krasovytskyi|
|Kirovohrad oblast||Kirovohrad Oblast AIDS Center|
|Kharkiv oblast||Oblast AIDS Center|
|LLC “Kharkiv Medical Center Alternativa”|
|Kyiv||Kyiv City Clinical Hospital N 5|
|Kyiv City Drug Treatment Hospital “Sociotherapy”|
|Kyiv oblast||Kyiv Oblast AIDS Center|
|Vinnytsia oblast||Vinnytsia Oblast AIDS Center|
|Odesa oblast||Odesa Oblast AIDS Center|
|Lviv oblast||Lviv Oblast AIDS Center|
|Zaporizhia oblast||Zaporizhia Oblast AIDS Center|
|National level||L.V. Hromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine|
|The Main Military Hospital|