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Assessing the Benefits and Costs of New Therapies for Hepatitis B Virus Infection

Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS; and Martin Black, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304, and Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Disclaimer: Dr. Owens is supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Honoraria: M. Black (Gilead).

Requests for Single Reprints: Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS, VA Palo Alto Health Care System (111A), 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304; e-mail, owens@stanford.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Owens: VA Palo Alto Health Care System (111A), 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Dr. Black: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(10):863-864. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-10-200505170-00013
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In recent years, hepatitis B has taken a backseat to hepatitis C because of the increased prevalence of hepatitis C in the United States and western Europe. However, hepatitis B has reclaimed the attention of gastroenterologists and other health care professionals because of 3 developments: the introduction of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–based hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA testing; the improved understanding of the nature of HBV-related disease; and the introduction of potent, orally administered new antiviral agents. In our editorial, we discuss the treatment of HBV, which has evolved rapidly, and then comment on the cost-effectiveness of HBV therapies.

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