Epidemiology and Infection


Cost-effectiveness of targeted screening for hepatitis C in The Netherlands

C. W. HELSPERa1 c1, B. A. BORKENT-RAVENa1, N. J. DE WITa1, G. A. VAN ESSENa1, M. J. M. BONTENa1a2, A. I. M. HOEPELMANa2, M. P. JANSSENa1 and G. A. DE WITa1a3

a1 Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

a2 Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

a3 Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research, National institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands


On account of the serious complications of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the improved treatment possibilities, the need to improve HCV awareness and case-finding is increasingly recognized. To optimize a future national campaign with this objective, three pilot campaigns were executed in three regions in The Netherlands. One campaign was aimed at the general population, a second (similar) campaign was extended with a support programme for primary care and a third campaign was specifically aimed at hard-drug users. Data from the pilot campaigns were used to build a mathematical model to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the different campaigns. The campaign aimed at the general public without support for primary care did not improve case-finding and was therefore not cost-effective. The similar campaign accompanied by additional support for primary care and the campaign aimed at hard-drug users emerged as cost-effective interventions for identification of HCV carriers.

(Accepted January 15 2011)

(Online publication February 16 2011)


c1 Author for correspondence: C. W. Helsper, M.D., Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Email: c.helsper@gmail.com)