From 1 May 2016 another new Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) hepatitis C treatment has become available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS):
This is a welcome addition to the other new hepatitis C treatments that were listed on the PBS in March 2016.
Another DAA combination treatment Zepatier® (grazoprevir/elbasvir) will be going before the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for approval in July 2016. HFA will be making a submission to PBAC about this treatment.
Zepatier has completed trials in people with HIV/HCV co-infection and in a cohort of people with bleeding disorders. The co-infection trials showed high success rates.(1) The results of the trials with people with bleeding disorders were released at the EASL International Liver Conference in April 2016: 93% of the cohort achieved a virologic cure; and the treatment demonstrated good safety, few side effects, and did not affect bleeding disorder-related bleeding or management of the underlying bleeding disorder.(2)
The new treatments have revolutionised hepatitis C care. They have high cure rates – more than 90% across the entire hep C population:
Many thousands of Australians have started the new treatments since 1 March – we hear from Hepatitis Australia that more people were on treatment in March 2016 than for the entire year in 2014.
HFA has had initial discussions with the Australian Haemophilia Centre Directors’ Organisation (AHCDO) and hepatitis and HIV/HCV co-infection specialists:
You would need to have a recent liver health assessment before you could be considered for treatment. Don’t wait; if you haven’t already, make your appointment now!
For more information, visit the HFA website page on the new hep C treatments.
World Hepatitis Day will be marked globally on 28 July 2016.
In 2016 the Australian World Hepatitis Day campaign will focus on promoting the new treatments.
As a Partner in the national World Hepatitis Day Campaign, HFA is working with Hepatitis Australia and State and Territory Foundations on the annual national awareness campaign and is committed to making a difference on hepatitis C in Australia.
As part of this campaign, HFA and the team from Haemophilia Foundation Victoria are developing a short YouTube video about the new treatments for people with bleeding disorders. Watch out for the new video which is soon to be released – a Q & A interview with Dr Joe Sasadeusz, an HCV/HIV co-infection specialist in Melbourne with a long history of working with people with bleeding disorders and HFA.
For more information about World Hepatitis Day, visit the Hepatitis Australia website.
1.Rockstroh JK, Nelson M, Katlama C, et al. Efficacy and safety of grazoprevir (MK-5172) and elbasvir (MK-8742) in patients with hepatitis C virus and HIV co-infection (C-EDGE CO-INFECTION): a non-randomised, open-label trial. Lancet HIV 2015;2(8):e319–e327. doi:10.1016/S2352-3018(15)00114-9
2.Hezode C, Colombo M, Spengler U, et al. C-EDGE IBLD: Efficacy and safety of elbasvir/grazoprevir in patients with chronic hepatitis c virus infection and inherited blood disorders. Presentation at The International Liver Congress™, EASL – European Association for the Study of the Liver, Barcelona, Spain, 13-17 April 2016.
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