From 1 August 2017 a new hepatitis C treatment has been made available on the PBS to treat people who have any strain of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Epclusa® is a once-daily single pill treatment for 12 weeks, with cure rates of more than 90% no matter which HCV genotype the person has.
“We welcome the announcement from Federal Health Minister Hunt that this new treatment will be subsidised so that it can be accessed by all Australians,” said HFA President Gavin Finkelstein.
“This last year has been a very exciting time for the bleeding disorders community. So many people are finally cured of their hep C with these new treatments – and with very few side-effects, if any. But there are still some people who haven’t had treatment yet.
“Treatments like this that are easy to prescribe and easy to take make it simpler for both the doctor and the person with hep C. This means that some people who live some distance away from the specialist centres can see their local doctor for their treatment.
“The Australian Government is committed to eliminating hep C in Australia by 2030 and we would like to achieve this much earlier in the bleeding disorders community. I urge all community members to take this opportunity to be cured. If you or someone you know with a bleeding disorder and hep C has something that is getting in the way of treatment, we invite you to speak to us so that we can find a solution together.”
As of 1 August 2017, there is now a range of new interferon-free Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatments for all genotypes of hepatitis C:
HFA has been working with the Australian Haemophilia Centre Directors’ Organisation (AHCDO) and hepatitis specialists on a fact sheet for general practitioners on people with bleeding disorders and hepatitis C to answer any questions GPs may have around testing and treatment. This is intended to be used alongside the updated Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement1, which will be released shortly. The GP fact sheet will be available on the AHCDO and HFA websites.
1. Hepatitis C Virus Infection Consensus Statement Working Group. Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement. Melbourne: Gastroenterological Society of Australia, 2017.
Latest edition available on the website < http://www.hepcguidelines.org.au>
Sign up for the latest news, events and our free National Haemophilia magazine