Providing eight weeks of Gilead Sciences’ Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir) through community pharmacies or prisons to individuals receiving opioid substitution therapy (OST) for addiction to opioids yields a high hepatitis C virus (HCV) cure rate, aidsmap reports.

Scottish researchers conducted an observational study of eight weeks of Epclusa treatment among 90 individuals receiving OST around Glasgow.

Findings were presented at the 52nd International Liver Congress in Paris.

Those participants who were actively injecting drugs or were early in their addiction recovery process were given Epclusa as directly observed treatment along with their OST. Those who were more stable in their recovery were given Epclusa with OST two to three times per week. (Each therapy would still be taken daily.) Community pharmacies provided the medication for all those not in prison.

Two thirds of the study population had moderate fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, 31 percent had advanced fibrosis and the rest had either mild or no fibrosis.

Ninety-three percent of the participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure). Two of them were lost to follow-up, two stopped treatment early, one died and one was reinfected with hep C. None of the participants experienced viral rebound after finishing treatment.

All eight of the participants who were still injecting drugs were cured of hep C.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.