Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

  • Publication # 13-RA004

The March 2014 issue of Research Activities was the last issue of the monthly newsletter. AHRQ is transitioning to a new quarterly thematic publication that will provide longer, more in-depth analyses of individual topics related to AHRQ’s four priority areas. This new publication will be available online  in the Fall.

Research Activities readers will still be able to access published studies by AHRQ and AHRQ-supported researchers on the AHRQ Research Studies Web page, which will be online later this Spring. Studies can be accessed by first author, publication date, and key word.

Thanks to all our readers over the years who have told us how much they have enjoyed the newsletter. We hope our new quarterly publication will be equally useful in learning more about AHRQ and the field of health services research!

For questions, please contact Research Activities managing editor, Gail Makulowich, at or at 301-427-1711.

Dual therapy may be slightly less effective than triple therapy for chronic infection with hepatitis C virus

Comparative Effectiveness Research

According to a new research review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), patients with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) who achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR), i.e., undetectable levels of HVC 6 months after completing treatment, appear to have a lower risk of death compared with those without an SVR. Dual therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin was slightly less likely to achieve an SVR compared with dual therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin (a difference of approximately 8 percentage points).

HCV is the most common chronic bloodborne pathogen in the United States. Based on a national survey of households, approximately 1.6 percent of U.S. adults over 20 years of age have antibodies to HCV, indicating prior acute HCV infection. SVR rates are substantially higher (66–88 percent) in patients who receive FDA-approved triple therapy regimens with pegylated interferon (alfa-2a or alfa-2b), ribavirin, and boceprevir or telaprevir compared with dual therapy with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin. Given the availability of new treatment options, it is particularly important to understand the comparative benefits and harms of dual and triple therapy treatments.

Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Adults suggests more research is needed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of current antiviral treatments on long-term clinical outcomes such as mortality, complications of chronic HCV infection, and quality of life. To access this review and other materials that explore the effectiveness and risks of treatment options for various conditions visit AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web site at

Page last reviewed January 2013
Internet Citation: Dual therapy may be slightly less effective than triple therapy for chronic infection with hepatitis C virus: Comparative Effectiveness Research. January 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care