Achieving a cure in hepatitis C infection could result in significant economic gains, with a study estimating that the beneficial effects in terms of improved worker productivity could total around $3.23 billion per year for the United States alone.

Researchers used data on work productivity and activity scores from patients enrolled in clinical trials of the all-oral sofosbuvir and lepidasvir combo to estimate the impact of achieving sustained virologic response at 12 weeks (SVR-12) on workers’ productivity.

They calculated an average work productivity loss of $4,954 for each employed patient with chronic hepatitis C infection per year in the United States and $1,129 per year for the five European Union countries included in the mix.

“These new all-oral combinations such as lepidasvir and sofosbuvir have cure rates between 95% and 99% with minimum side effects, [so] treating patients with these combinations results in improved work productivity, improved quality of life, and patient-reported outcomes that can translate into economic benefit,” Dr. Zobair M. Younossi of the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Falls Church, Va., said at the annual Digestive Disease Week.

No conflicts of interest were disclosed.