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Principal Investigator

  • Ian Sheerin

Supported by the Health Research Council


This project investigates future health service costs of not funding treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Costs are estimated separately for Maori and non-Maori, for male and female injecting drug users (IDUs). Markov modelling is used to track the infection and progression of HCV to severe liver disease and death, and accumulated costs are estimated for the lifetime of the cohort. Currently in New Zealand ther are over 25, 000 people who have HCV and research has shown that approximately 84% of methadone patients have HCV. Lack of funding for HCV treatment will result in considerable future costs as some people with HCV progress to more severe liver disease including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.


  • Sheerin IG, Green FT, Sellman JD. The costs of not treating hepatitis C virus infection in injecting drug users in New Zealand. Drug and Alcohol Review 22 (June)159 –67, 2003.
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