News Feature | October 27, 2015

Medication Adherence Trial In Hepatitis C Patients Launched

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

hepatitis c

A new medication adherence application from emocha helps keep HCV patients on track.

According to the CDC, approximately three to four million individuals are chronically infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in the United States and at least three quarters of those who become infected will develop chronic infection which, if left untreated, can produce long-term complications and even death.

HCV therapy has been revolutionized by recent developments in treatments, including oral options that achieve high levels of HCV cure when taken as directed. That means medication adherence is a high priority for both healthcare providers and payers, both in terms of the potential benefits and because of the high costs of these medications, which can be up to $1,000 per pill or more than $80,000 for an entire course of treatment.

Now, a medical adherence trial for HCP patients at the University of Colorado is employing emocha’s medication adherence application, miDOT, to help keep them on track. As part of the trial, patients use a secure emocha smartphone application to record themselves taking their medication, then study personnel will then review the video and assess adherence using emocha’s patient engagement platform. The app also provides a series of automatic reminders and notifications to connect patients with study personnel, helping them to stay on track through completion of therapy.

“There is extreme resistance to treating Hepatitis C in drug users predicated on the assumption that this population will have poor adherence. The result is an absence of data on the pharmacokinetics and adherence-efficacy relationships for DAA in drug users,” explained lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Kiser, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Translational Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“Without these data, drug users are denied life-saving treatment and the spread of HCV continues. We are thrilled to use miDOT to perform directly observed dosing and monitor adherence in our study participants. The pharmacology and adherence data generated through this study will promote the treatment of those most affected by Hepatitis C.”

The study has three important goals: to define and compare direct acting antivirals (DAA) pharmacokinetics in drug users undergoing miDOT vs. without miDOT; determine DAA concentrations associated with gradients of adherence; and establish the relationship between DAA adherence and HCV cure.