WHO HAS ACCESS TO HEPATITIS C TESTING ? LIBERATE OUR DIAGNOSTICS ! ISSUE BRIEF

Accurate, high-quality data on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to be a struggle for countries that are scaling up testing services and linking people to treatment and care, as part of implementing their national hepatitis plans. There is very little in-country information about the availability and pricing of HCV diagnostics and how licensing and pricing barriers may affect how governments determine coverage of testing services. Crowd-sourced data from the free, public database, mapCrowd, has been collected by 60 mapCrowd contributors.

Data includes the availability and pricing in public and private sectors of the following HCV tests :

  • Lab-based enzyme immunoassays (EIAs)
  • Antibody rapid diagnostics tests (RDTs)
  • Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing
  • Quantitative and qualitative HCV viral load polymerase chain reaction (PCR) • Nucleic acid testing (NAT) DNA/RNA platforms
  • Core antigen
  • Genotyping
  • FibroScan liver disease staging tests

Advocacy demands include :

  • Simplify the diagnostics pathway and increase patients’ linkage and retention in care
  • Ensure transparency of pricing on the total costs of diagnostics and service/maintenance costs for instrument-based platforms
  • Prioritize the development of dried blood spot protocols and submit them for stringent regulatory authority approval ; and point-of-care RNA and HCV core antigen tests with acceptable diagnostic accuracy
  • Include community and civil society organizations in the design, research, and implementation of diagnostics, which could address affordability, simplicity, and community-friendly testing settings.

More information about HCV diagnostics is available in the Activist Guide to Hepatitis C Virus Diagnostics and training curriculum, available at : [https://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/publication/activist-guide-to-hepatitis-c-virus-diagnostics/] and [https://www.hepcoalition.org/advocate/advocacy-tools/article/activist-guide-to-hepatitis-c-virus-diagnostics]

The issue brief aims to provide supplemental evidence for advocates on HCV diagnostics availability and pricing, which could help inform national and regional campaigns


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