Hep C News

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).

So far:

  • PBAC has approved adding simeprevir (Olysio™) to the PBS for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C
  • PBAC rejected sofosbuvir (Sovaldi™) for the treatment of genotypes 1 to 6 chronic hepatitis C on the basis of its high cost and limited information about cost-effectiveness. Sofosbuvir is likely to be resubmitted to PBAC in 2015
  • Other new DAAs are likely to be submitted for TGA approval and PBS listing in 2015.

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:

  • Make sure you have your liver health checked regularly
  • Stay in touch with your hepatitis clinic about what’s new
  • And don’t forget to go to your appointment with the hepatitis clinic after your liver health check, even if the fibroscan shows your liver health is stable at the moment.


1 Kulkarni, R, Mauser-Bunschoten, EP, Stedman, C, Street, A. Medical co-morbidities and practice. Haemophilia 2014;20(Suppl. 4):130-136.

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