The Annals of Internal Medicine published that highly sustained virological response was seen after 12 weeks of treatment with elbasvir - grazoprevir compared to placebo, in Hepatitis C patients who were treated for opioid addiction. The people who took elbasvir- grazoprevir had a decreased number of virus in their blood (reduced viral load) regardless of the ongoing drug use.
Injection drug use is a major factor as about 170 million people around the world have Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Although the once daily dosing, low side effects and shortened treatment duration seem to be favourable for HCV, most of the clinical trials have excluded patients who have been into recent injection drug use.
‘Hepatitis C treatment ( elbasvir- grazoprevir) is found to be safe and effective in drug users.’
The Hepatitis C treatment on Opioid substitution therapy trial helps to evaluate the saftey and effectiveness of elbasvir - grazoprevir in injection drug users.
Researchers assigned 301 patients with chronic HCV genotype 1,4 or 6 infections who were adherent for 80% of opioid agonist treatment with elbasvir- grazoprevir treatment for 12 weeks or treated with a placebo for 12 weeks followed by open label elbasvir- grazoprevir for 12 weeks. The results found reported that 91.5 % of the patients in immediate treatment group achieved sustained virologic response regardless of ongoing drug use.
The research therefore supports that removing drug use serves as a barrier or restriction for receiving Hepatitis C treatment.