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Global Utilization Trends of Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Time Series Analysis.

Shakeri A, Konstantelos N, Chu C, Antoniou T, Feld J, Suda KJ, Tadrous M. Global Utilization Trends of Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Time Series Analysis. Viruses. 2021 Jul 7; 13(7).

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The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a significant strain on hepatitis programs and interventions (screening, diagnosis, and treatment) at a critical moment in the context of hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination. We sought to quantify changes in Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) utilization among different countries during the pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional time series analysis between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020, using the IQVIA MIDAS database, which contains DAA purchase data for 54 countries. We examined the percent change in DAA units dispensed (e.g., pills and capsules) from March to August 2019 to the same period of time in 2020 across the 54 countries. Interrupted time-series analysis was used to examine the impact of COVID-19 on monthly rates of DAA utilization across each of the major developed economies (G7 nations). Overall, 46 of 54 (85%) jurisdictions experienced a decline in DAA utilization during the pandemic, with an average of -43% (range: -1% in Finland to -93% in Brazil). All high HCV prevalence (HCV prevalence > 2%) countries in the database experienced a decline in utilization, average -49% (range: -17% in Kazakhstan to -90% in Egypt). Across the G7 nations, we also observed a decreased trend in DAA utilization during the early months of the pandemic, with significant declines ( < 0.01) for Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The global response to COVID-19 led to a large decrease in DAA utilization globally. Deliberate efforts to counteract the impact of COVID-19 on treatment delivery are needed to support the goal of HCV elimination.

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