Guide to the online PBAC consumer comment form.

To enable a simple process for lodging submissions to Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) meetings an online form is available on their website.  The following information is offered as a guide only with specific relevance to the medicines listed for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

We strongly recommend taking notes before completing the online form. You might consider typing up your responses beforehand and then cut and paste them into the form for submitting. We have set up a MS Word form for your to use as a trial. Download it now >

You will be required to provide your name and contact details. If you have concerns about privacy, the Department of Health states it may use the information provided “to verify that any individual or organisation is bonafide or if any comments need clarification. Personal information collected by the Department will not be provided to any other organisation or used for any other purpose. The personal information of individuals will be de-identified before comments are considered by the PBAC”. This is stated in the declaration at the end of the form. 

Click to download sample form

Click to download sample form

 The questions in the form are oriented toward a person living with the relevant condition, in this case hepatitis C. If you are lodging the comments as a carer, partner etc. then frame your responses to highlight the concerns and benefits regarding treatment for the person/people with hepatitis C you know or represent

The questions

Medicines to which this submission relates?

There is one completely new medicine for hepatitis C being considered at the July 2015 meeting of PBAC.  The inclusion of this  medicine will expand the range of treatment options and improve the opportunity to cure hepatitis C for more people.

  • paritaprevir with ritonavir, ombitasvir and dasabuvir (Viekira Pak®) - for the treatment of hepatitis C, genotype 1
  • paritaprevir with ritonavir, ombitasvir, dasabuvir and ribavirin (Viekira Pak-RBV®) for the treatment of hepatitis C, genotype 1

Please note the above two, multi-agent medicines are listed on the PBAC agenda as a single entry. 

PBAC is also considering applications two enable the use of two existing medicines within future treatment regimens. These include:

  • Simeprevir (Olysio®) - for use in an interferon-free combination with sofosbuvir for the treatment of hepatitis C, genotype 1
  • Ribavirin (Ibavyr®) - new dosing  consistent with new regimens. 

    Submitted by (individual, collective, group)?

    Comments from people living with chronic hepatitis C are particularly important.

    It is important to be clear if you are lodging your comments as an individual or on behalf of a group or organisation.  In general, groups or organisations will usually provide a written submission via email or post rather than use the online form.

    Q1. What treatment (if any) are you using now?

    This question provides an opportunity to explain your situation and help provide an accurate picture to the members of PBAC. Many people with hepatitis C will not be on current treatment. Some may have accessed treatment that has not been successful for them or have ceased treatment due to adverse side effects.

    Some people may be on waiting lists or have been unaware of new developments in treatments.   If you are on treatment but experiencing significant side effects or find the administration of the drugs difficult (e.g. interferon injections) then this is also important.

    Q2. What do you see as the benefits of this new medicine for you?

    For the majority of people with chronic hepatitis C in Australia, the new treatments offer a real chance of cure for their hepatitis C infection. 

    The new treatments are also more tolerable, of much shorter duration and with significantly fewer side effects. Most treatments are interferon-free. This means many of the concerns about starting treatment are dramatically reduced for most people.

    Consider how access to the new treatments will improve your health.

    Q3. How will your life and that of your family be improved by this new medicine?

    This question is an opportunity to highlight the impacts of hepatitis C on yourself and those around you and how this would change if you greater opportunity of eliminating hepatitis C from your life.  If you have previously had treatment then you may choose to highlight how older style treatments impacted on your life and the lives of those close to you.

    Q4. What other benefits can you see from having this medicine on the PBS?

    Listing the new treatments on the PBS will mean treatment for hepatitis becomes more accessible and affordable for those who need it.  

    The simpler treatment regimens could also mean prescribing of treatment into the future may not require people to access specialised hospital based clinics, again increasing accessibility. 

    The more people in Australia who are cured of their hepatitis C, combined with effective prevention strategies, the more likely we can see the hepatitis C epidemic in Australia start to shrink.

    Q5. Do you have any comments on the consumer input process?

    If you have had any difficulties in using the online form or believe additional questions are needed in the form then this is your opportunity to provide feedback to PBAC.

    When you are ready you can access the PBAC online form here > 

    Page updated 11 May 2015