Utilisation of community pharmacy for hepatitis C treatments

Is utilisation of a community pharmacy for provision of direct acting antivirals a feasible delivery model for hepatitis C treatment in substance misusers?

The need to improve access to care and treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infection is receiving increasing attention. Current care pathways for patients receiving treatment for hepatitis C involve initiation by a specialist in a hospital setting. However the routes by which clients on these treatments receive supplies of medication are overly complex and have been shown to disadvantage specific cohorts of the population. This study tested the feasibility and desirability of a community pharmacy pathway of care in a cohort of substance misusers from Dundee. A discrete choice experiment was undertaken to inform design of an optimum service model. The results showed that methadone users preferred to be tested in pharmacy. Being treated with dignity and respect was the most important attribute.

Outcome and Translation

The spread of hepatitis C is a growing public health concern in Scotland. Tackling the spread of hepatitis C infection amongst substance misusers is a priority for NHS Tayside Board. A community care pathway is likely to increase treatment uptake and therefore reduce the prevalence of hepatitis C.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Marjon van der Pol

External collaborators: A Radley (NHS Tayside) and J Dillon (University of Dundee)

Publications

Radley, A., Pol, M. van der and Dillon, J.F. (2019) 'Application of a discrete choice experiment approach to support the design of a hepatitis C testing service in primary care', International Journal on Drug Policy, 65, 1-7, [Epub ahead of print].

Presentations

Radley, A., Pol, M. van der and Dillon, J. (2015) 'Preferences for hepatitis C testing: a discrete choice experiment with methadone users in Tayside, Scotland', [Poster] 2nd Digestive Disorders Federation Meeting, ExCel, London, England, 22-25 June 2015.