Trained clinical pharmacists can effectively manage patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to research presented at the ASHP Midyear 2016 Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.1

Brett Borba, PharmD, and colleagues from the US Department of Veterans Affairs reported data from a program in California where clinical pharmacists were “granted clinical privileges and prescriptive authority to manage HCV infection with direct acting antiviral therapies.” The pharmacists managed 216 patients between the start of 2014 and the end of fiscal year 2015.

The researchers noted that cure rates were high, about 87.6%, in the 198 patients who returned at 12 weeks of follow up; 18 patients didn’t complete therapy, however, due to treatment failure (most of the patients who failed therapy had HCV genotypes 2 or 3) or treatment intolerance.
Dr. Borba and his colleagues concluded that their data support the use of a clinical pharmacist to manage HCV therapy, which they said “can free up specialty provider time for additional patient care needs.” They added that this approach may be particularly beneficial in veteran populations, since “survey data suggest that HCV has a higher prevalence in veterans using the VA system than the US population as a whole.”
The researchers also cited data that showed nearly a 22% HCV antibody prevalence in one VA population.2  
  1. Borba B, Siilata J, Samara W, et al. Poster 1-023. Initiation and management of hepatitis C therapy in a pharmacist run clinic. B Presented at: ASHP Midyear 2016 Clinical Meeting and Exhibition. Dec. 4-8, 2016. Las Vegas.
  2. Sloan KL, Straits-Troster KA, Dominitz JA, Kivlahan DR. Hepatitis C tested prevalence and comorbidities among veterans in the US Northwest. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004; 38:279-284.