Adherence to sofosbuvir and velpatasvir among people with chronic HCV infection and recent injection drug use: The SIMPLIFY study

, Evan B. Cunningham (Lead / Corresponding author), Janaki Amin, Jordan J. Feld, Julie Bruneau, Olav Dalgard, Jeff Powis, Margaret Hellard, Curtis Cooper, Phillip Read, Brian Conway, Adrian J. Dunlop, Briana Norton, Alain H. Litwin, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Maria Christine Thurnheer, John F. Dillon, Martin Weltman, David Shaw, Philip BruggmannEdward Gane, Chris Fraser, Philippa Marks, Tanya L. Applegate, Sophie Quiene, Sharmila Siriragavan, Gail V. Matthews, Gregory J. Dore, Jason Grebely

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Background: This study investigated treatment adherence among people with recent injecting drug use in a study of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir therapy for HCV infection.

Methods: SIMPLIFY is an international open-label, single-arm multicentre study that recruited participants with recent injecting drug use (previous six months) and chronic HCV genotype (G) 1-6 infection between March and October 2016 in seven countries (19 sites). Participants received sofosbuvir/velpatasvir once-daily for 12 weeks administered in a one-week electronic blister pack (records the time and date of each dose) for 12 weeks. We evaluated non-adherence (<90% adherent) as measured by electronic blister-pack assessed using logistic regression and generalised estimating equations (continuous) with detailed analyses of dosing dynamics.

Results: Among 103 participants, 97% (n = 100) completed treatment. Median adherence to therapy was 94%. Overall, 32% (n = 33) were considered non-adherent (<90% adherence). Adherence significantly decreased over the course of therapy. Recent stimulant injecting (cocaine and/or amphetamines) at treatment initiation and during treatment was independently associated with non-adherence. Inconsistent dose timing (standard deviation of daily dose timing of ≥240 min) was also independently associated with non-adherence to therapy. Factors associated with inconsistent dose timing included lower levels of education and recent stimulant injecting. SVR was similar among adherent and non-adherent populations (94% vs. 94%, P = 0.944).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated high adherence to once-daily sofosbuvir/velpatasvir therapy among a population of people with recent injecting drug use. Recent stimulant injecting prior to and during DAA therapy and inconsistent dose-timing during treatment was associated with non-adherence. However, there was no impact of non-adherence on response to therapy, suggesting that adherence is not a significant barrier to successful DAA therapy in people with recent injecting drug use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Early online date20 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Amphetamine
  • Blister pack
  • Cocaine
  • Compliance
  • Drug use
  • HCV
  • Injecting drug users
  • OST
  • PWID
  • Stimulants
  • Treatment

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