November 2015 (HealthDay News)
Researchers who examined the effect of treating hepatitis C patients with the newer generation of oral drugs suggest while these medications may cost tens of thousands of dollars for a 12-week course, they could avert billions in lost productivity.
The researchers gathered data not only on absenteeism but “presenteeism” where participants show up to work but are less productive.
They estimate that the reduced absenteeism and increased productivity resulting from curing hepatitis C with LDV/SOF could result in annual savings of $2.67 billion for the US and $556 million for five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Lead researcher Dr. Zobair Younossi, chairman of the department of medicine at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, VA, says we have known for a long time about the devastating effect that chronic hepatitis C can have on patients’ health:
“But given the significant side effects previously associated with treating the disease, notably fatigue and neuropsychiatric side effects, we were interested in looking at the impact of new treatments on patients’ ability to work, and in a broader sense, how this affects employers and overall economies.”