The Hep-CORE policy score: A European hepatitis C national policy implementation ranking based on patient organization data

Alan Palayew, Samya R. Stumo, Graham S. Cooke, Sharon J. Hutchinson, Marie Jauffret-Roustide, Mojca Maticic, Magdalena Harris, Ammal M. Metwally, Homie Razavi, Jeffrey V. Lazarus*, Hep-CORE Study Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Background: New hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments spurred the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 to adopt a strategy to eliminate HCV as a public health threat by 2030. To achieve this, key policies must be implemented. In the absence of monitoring mechanisms, this study aims to assess the extent of policy implementation from the perspective of liver patient groups.

Methods: Thirty liver patient organisations, each representing a country, were surveyed in October 2018 to assess implementation of HCV policies in practice. Respondents received two sets of questions based on: 1) WHO recommendations; and 2) validated data sources verifying an existing policy in their country. Academic experts selected key variables from each set for inclusion into policy scores. The similarity scores were calculated for each set with a multiple joint correspondence analysis. Proxy reference countries were included as the baseline to contextualize results. We extracted scores for each country and standardized them from 0 to 10 (best).

Results: Twenty-five countries responded. For the score based on WHO recommendations, Bulgaria had the lowest score whereas five countries (Cyprus, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden) had the highest scores. For the verified policy score, a two-dimensional solution was identified; first dimension scores pertained to whether verified policies were in place and second dimension scores pertained to the proportion of verified policies in-place that were implemented. Spain, UK, and Sweden had high scores for both dimensions.

Conclusions: Patient groups reported that the European region is not on track to meet WHO 2030 HCV goals. More action should be taken to implement and monitor HCV policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0235715
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020


  • hepatitis C
  • national policy
  • Europe
  • Hep-CORE
  • Public Health
  • World Health Organization
  • Humans
  • prevention & control
  • Data Collection
  • Hepacivirus/isolation & purification
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Electronic Health Records/standards
  • Health Plan Implementation/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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