Statement on access to new generation treatments for hepatitis C.

18 December 2015

Hepatitis Australia and our member organisations wish to express our sincere support for the thousands of Australians who are desperate to access the new hepatitis C medicines already available in other countries. The lack of access to these ground-breaking new treatments is simply unacceptable. We urge people to tell their story on ‘Speak Out’ as part of our ongoing efforts to secure the listing of these medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) making them affordable for all Australians.   

Together we will continue to focus considerable effort on securing the earliest possible listing of the new hepatitis C medicines on the PBS. This is the most effective and equitable way for all Australians to access new medicines at an affordable price. We continue to call on the Australian Government and the pharmaceutical companies to make affordable access a reality as soon as possible.

Options for those seeking immediate access.
While waiting for the new medicines to be made available on the PBS there are a number of possible no cost or user pays options for people seeking treatment. The following can be investigated further with their treating doctor:

  • Clinical trials (no cost)
    Information about clinical trials can be accessed through your treating doctor or the
    Australian Clinical Trials website
  • Compassionate or early access programs. (no cost)
    Limited compassionate and/or early access programs are usually provided by pharmaceutical companies prior to the PBS listing.
  • Personal importation of generic hepatitis C medicines. (significant cost)
    The sourcing of generic medicines from overseas.
  • Private script. (very high cost)
    Doctors can prescribe the medicines for purchase in Australia but this requires full payment for the medicines by the person seeking treatment.

We strongly recommend that all people seeking treatment discuss the pros and cons of these options with their doctor and remain under the care of a doctor experienced in managing and treating hepatitis C. Further advice to clinicians is available from the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine website.

Personal Importation.
The importing of medicines for personal use is legal in Australia and should be considered carefully as there can be potential risks. Further information is available at the Therapeutic Goods Administration/Personal Importation website.

Importation Schemes.
While Hepatitis Australia is not in a position to confirm the quality of services or products offered by any importation schemes or websites, we are aware that the Fix Hep C Buyers Club offers information and assistance to people seeking to import medicines. Further details are available at the Fix Hep C Buyers Club website.   

Disclaimer: Hepatitis Australia is unable to verify the quality of services or products offered by any importation scheme or website and the information provided above does not represent a recommendation or endorsement of such products or services.  

For further information call the Hepatitis Information Line on 1800 437 222  

Website Links: (click on the address to visit)

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine 

Therapeutic Goods Administration/Personal Importation website.

Fix Hep C Buyers Club