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Publicly funded oral chronic hepatitis B treatment patterns in Ontario over 16 years: an ecologic study


Background — Reimbursement for the use of hepatitis B virus (HBV) treatments has not been previously reported for public payers.

Objective — To describe the number of users and total cost of HBV treatments over the last 16 years among residents of Ontario, Canada, who were covered by the public drug program.

Methods — We conducted a repeated cross-sectional study for HBV treatments reimbursed by the public drug program in Ontario from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2015. We projected total spending to 2020 based on current utilization trends.

Results — HBV drug users per year increased 30-fold, from 132 users in 2000 to 4,035 users in 2015. Total spending on HBV treatments increased 150-fold, from $136,368 annually in 2000 to $21.0 million in 2015. The spending on HBV agents is projected to increase by 65%, with an estimated drug cost of $34.6 million by 2020.

Conclusions — Although not reimbursed as first-line therapy, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate has become the most commonly reimbursed HBV treatment and was associated with an increase in HBV treatment use and total spending. Results of this study found that rapid growth of HBV treatments led to a sustained increase in spending for public payers in Ontario.



Tadrous M, Brahmania M, Martins D, Knowles S, Janssen HLA, Mamdani MM, Juurlink DN, Gomes T. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2018; 24(5):464-8. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

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