Hepatitis C Virus Infection

The burden of disease related to HCV infection is expanding. Despite robust evidence that new treatment options are proving to be effective on an individual and population basis, the high cost of direct-acting antiviral agents and subsequent restrictions on reimbursement have reduced patient access to treatment. Coordinated and multifaceted approaches to improve treatment access and outcomes should ensure policy and decision making are equitable, evidence-based, and maximize the public health benefit to society.

The American College of Preventive Medicine has provided a set of recommendations highlighting critical areas for the development of healthcare policy, public health practices, and continued research which aims to reduce morbidity, mortality, and the associated personal and societal costs of HCV infection.

Population-based recommendations include advancing efforts to:

  • Screen for HCV infection at least once for individuals in the “baby boomer” generation and in certain high-risk populations
  • Promote the use of screening, behavior modifications, and barrier precautions to reduce the risk of HCV transmission
  • Improve access to evidence-based treatment programs and new direct-acting antiviral therapies
  • Develop quality and accountability measures for linkage to HCV disease care
  • Measure impacts of restrictions on treatment access and make data publicly available to better inform decision-making processes

"All stakeholders—including CMS, private insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers—need to work together with healthcare providers, preventive medicine and public health professionals to reduce cost, ease the restrictions, and improve access to treatment of HCV infection," says Dr. David Niebuhr, a member of ACPM and the senior author of this position statement.

The recommendations listed in the full report (Am J Prev Med 2016;50(3):419–426) were developed in a consensus-based manner by the ACPM Prevention Practice Committee following a review of the current scientific literature—including the evidence-based guidelines of other professional organizations (Table 1 on page 422)—and are endorsed by the ACPM Board of Regents. ACPM is a professional medical society specializing in disease prevention and population health. These recommendations are from ACPM and do not represent policy or the position of the U.S. Federal Government.

David W. Niebuhr, MD, MPH, MSc

Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics
Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH

Deputy Chief, Infectious Diseases Section
Department of Transfusion Medicine
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

Michael Barry

Executive Director, ACPM
202-466-2044 x106


The American College of Preventive Medicine Position Statement on Hepatitis C Virus Infection. Robert D. Allison, MD, MPH; Steven A. Hale, MD; Bart J. Harvey, MD, MSc, PhD, MEd; Toni-Marie L. Hudson, MSPH; Catherine J. Livingston, MD, MPH; Kevin M. Sherin, MD, MPH, MBA; Kelechi A. Uduhiri, MD, MPH, MS; David W. Niebuhr, MD, MPH, MSc; and the American College of Preventive Medicine Prevention Practice Committee. Am J Prev Med 2016;50(3):419–426. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Link.


ACPM’s Prevention Practice Committee has published a set of population-based recommendations designed to increase screening for and prevention of hepatitis C virus infection, increase linkage to care, improve access to treatment, and encourage development of hepatitis C virus–related quality measures.

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