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Impact of COVID-19 on prescribing trends of direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C in Ontario, Canada

Konstantelos N, Shakeri A, McCormack D, Feld JJ, Gomes T, Tadrous M. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021; 116(8):1738-40. Epub 2021 Apr 28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001287


Introduction — Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are curative treatments for hepatitis C. However, initiation of these treatments requires adequate healthcare access. Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in restrictions to healthcare services in March 2020. We examined the impact of COVID-19 on the number of individuals dispensed DAAs.

Methods — This is a cross-sectional study examining the number of individuals dispensed DAAs in Ontario, Canada, from 2018 to 2020. Time-series models determined the impact of healthcare restrictions on DAA dispensations.

Results — Healthcare restrictions resulted in a 49.3% decrease in DAA dispensations (P = 0.026).

Discussion — COVID-19-related healthcare restrictions significantly affected access to DAAs. Studies exploring the long-term effects on reduced treatment are needed.

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