Much is happening very quickly in new hepatitis C treatments.
A wave of new direct acting antiviral (DAA) hepatitis C drugs have been completing large-scale multi-centre clinical trials and are gradually coming before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to be approved for use in Australia and before PBAC for government subsidy on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
In clinical trials they have had very high success rates, few side-effects, and shorter treatment courses. Some need to be taken in combination with other medications (eg, interferon, ribavirin, ledipasvir) to be effective. Some will be available in interferon or ribavirin-free combinations. Some have had encouraging results even with people who previously had unsuccessful treatment or who have advanced liver disease (1).
Professor Ed Gane from New Zealand explained more about these new DAAs at a 2014 conference in Brisbane – tinyurl.com/2014-hepc-treatments.
Advancing liver disease and limited treatment options is a real and urgent problem for some of our community members with hepatitis C. Treatment that can cure their hepatitis C is a high priority.
HFA is pursuing every avenue possible around access to these new treatments for affected community members.
To clarify the current situation for affected people with bleeding disorders nationally – their need for treatment, potential benefits and issues relating to current and upcoming treatments – we have sought expert advice from the Australian Haemophilia Centre Directors’ Organisation and from hepatitis specialists.
HFA will be following up with more representation to government on these new treatments.
Loud and clear the message is – if you have hepatitis C and a bleeding disorder:
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