The availability of generic antiviral drugs to manage chronic hepatitis B resulted in significant savings to Medicare, despite an increase in prescriptions, according to an analysis by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. The findings were published July 8 in Gastroenterology.
About 1.6 million people in the United States live with chronic hepatitis B. There is no cure currently, but some medications can suppress the virus and limit liver damage. However, the high cost of brand-name drugs is often a barrier for many people who must take the drugs for life, leading to treatment non-compliance and subsequent health complications.