The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies in Croatia is low in the general population (reported <1%), similar to the prevalence rates of many European countries, but is higher in the populations at risk, especially among intravenous drug users. With the development of new classes of direct-acting antiviral agents and interferon-free regimens, the landscape of HCV treatment has completely changed. Management of HCV infection in Croatia is in accordance with the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) recommendations published in 2015, recently updated Croatian Guidelines (published in April 2016) and the recommendations of Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) which covers the costs of treatment. HZZO approved simeprevir at the beginning of 2015. By the end of the 2015 sofosbuvir, combination of sofosbuvir + ledipasvir and the combination of ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir ± dasabuvir became available. Although the drawback of these new highly effective treatments is their price, prioritization of patients on a national level offers equal opportunities to patients in need for treatment. Due to improvements in therapy and prevention, clinical care for patients with HCV in Croatia advanced significantly during the last two years.
Part of the book: Update on Hepatitis C