Can antiviral treatment for hepatitis C be safely and effectively delivered in primary care? A narrative systematic review of the evidence base


Dec 2013 by Ian Brew, Christine Butt and Nat Wright in the British Journal of General Practice
The burden of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment is growing, as is the political resolve to tackle the epidemic. Primary care will need to work more closely with secondary care to succeed in reducing the prevalence of chronic HCV. This paper, providing a narrative systematic review of six databases, aims to identify research relating to the provision of antiviral treatment for HCV in primary care. It finds emerging evidence supporting the effectiveness of antiviral treatment provision for patients with chronic hepatitis C in a wide variety of primary care and wider community settings.The authors stress that training and ongoing supervision of primary care practitioners by specialists is a prerequisite, and that there is an opportunity through future research activity to evaluate typologies of patients who would be best served by primary care-based treatment and those for whom hospital-based outpatient treatment would be most appropriate.