DiBenedetti D, Mansfield C, Myers K, Satram S, Reyes C. Understanding patient experiences with chronic Hepatitis B Virus (cHBV) and its treatments. Poster presented at the AASLD 2021 The Liver Meeting; November 12, 2021. Previously presented at the Virtual ISPOR 2021 Conference.

OBJECTIVES: Despite advances in the treatment of cHBV, unmet needs remain, including how patients perceive the value of a “functional cure” (lifelong control of the virus after a finite duration of therapy). We conducted qualitative interviews to better understand the impact of cHBV and its treatments on patients’ lives and the perceived value of a functional cure.

METHODS: Individual telephone interviews were conducted during March-April 2020. Participants were 18+ years with cHBV for ≥6 months, no other viral coinfections, and either current or past experience with interferon and/or nucleoside analogue or were treatment naive.

RESULTS: Of the 28 participants, 23 were treatment-experienced and 5 were treatment-naïve. The sample was racially/ethnically diverse (50% non-white), had a mean age of 47.5 years, and 54% were male. All participants reported impacts of cHBV on their lives with emotional impacts (including stigma and discrimination) most frequently reported (53%), followed by physical impacts (50%), dietary and lifestyle impacts (32%), and social impacts (29%). Although many treatment-experienced patients had difficulty differentiating the impacts of cHBV treatment from the disease itself, nearly all (21/23) reported negative impacts associated with treatment. When asked for the attributes of an “ideal treatment”, participants spontaneously reported a long-acting formulation with less frequent administration (61%), a cure (32%), an oral formulation (29%), or a convenient treatment that did not require travel (18%). More than half (n=15) described a functional cure as a partial, temporary, and/or incomplete cure, something that “worked” to some extent, was perhaps associated with fewer or better controlled symptoms, but was not a full or permanent cure. Most patients found the notion of a functional cure appealing once defined for them.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients reported persistent unmet needs with cHBV treatment, including dosing frequency, formulation, and convenience. The majority of patients value treatments that provide a functional cure.

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