Treatments Advocacy

Through a focus on national health related policy Hepatitis Australia advocates for change to support the best possible outcomes for people living with or affected by viral hepatitis. This page provides information about activities undertaken by Hepatitis Australia to effect change.

Hepatitis C Treatments

New generation medicines present the most significant change for people living with hepatitis C.  Since the beginning of 2014 Hepatitis Australia has undertaken a range of activities identifying the need to increase the number of Australians accessing treatment for hepatitis C. During this time there have been major advances in the medicines used to treat hepatitis C, which support an increase in the number of people being treated and cured. However, barriers to affordable access remain. Below is a list of what Hepatitis Australia has undertaken so far to change this.

  • Sector Leadership
    As information started coming through about the new generation medicines Hepatitis Australia played a leadership role in liaising with state and territory hepatitis organisations and other stakeholders to set key messages for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) process and ensure accurate information and messaging was provided to organisations, governments and the community. 
    The call for access to new medicines for hepatitis C has also formed part of two key reports from Hepatitis Australia. The Hepatitis Equity Report and Liver Danger Zone Report.  Both reports were provided to parliamentarians and the later attracted significant media coverage and highlighted the need for Australians to have access to the new medicines. The Hepatitis Equity Report was also presented to two Ministerial adviser bodies
  • National Hepatitis C Strategy 2014-2017
    Hepatitis Australia has advocated strongly for the inclusion of quantifiable targets in the National Strategies for blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections. Initially, Hepatitis Australia in association with other organisations established the Auckland Statement in 2012 which identified the need for an increase in the number of people accessing treatment was necessary. Then Hepatitis Australia continued this advocacy and actively contributed to the development of the National Strategy, which for the first time includes a measurable target to increase the number of people living with hepatitis C accessing treatment by 50% each year. The strategy also highlights the need to increase the role of GPs and community based health services in the delivery of treatment and care for people living with hepatitis C. Hepatitis Australia also informed the development of the governments Implementation Plan for the National Strategy.
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
    Hepatitis Australia has lodged submissions to PBAC calling for the listing of new hepatitis C treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Recent submissions have included direct comment from community members .
    • July 2014 - submission relating to sofosbuvir and simeprevir (simeprevir was made available in December 2014)
      Download a copy of the submission.
    • March 2015 - Submission lodged calling for the listing of sofosbuvir, Harvoni® (sofosbuvir + ledipasvir), asunaprevir and daclatasvir. PBAC has recommended the listing of sofosbuvir, Harvoni® and daclatasvir which is now pending government approval. Hepatitis Australia also participated in PBAC's Consumer Consultation Meeting specifically relating to the hepatitis C medicines. This was the first ever meeting of its kind conducted by PBAC. Hepatitis is continuing to advocate for the government to approve these medicines. Download a copy of the submission
    • July 2015 - Hepatitis Australia is preparing a submission calling for the listing of another new medicine, paritaprevir with ritonavir, ombitasvir and dasabuvir (Viekra Pak®). This submission also relates to the use of simeprevir with sofosbuvir.
      Find out how to lodge you comments to PBAC
  • Parliamentary Inquiry into Hepatitis C in Australia
    Hepatitis Australia provided a comprehensive submission to this Inquiry. The development of this document included 
    consultation with community members through interviews and an online survey.  Hepatitis Australia and/or its member organisations participated in the public hearings conducted by the Inquiry. Access to new treatments featured prominently in hearings.  Submissions to the Inquiry have closed but you can view the submissions and download transcripts at the Inquiry's website.  You can download a copy of our submission.
  • Equal Treatment Access
    Hepatitis Australia advocates that all people living with hepatitis C should have equal access to the latest and most effective medicines to treat and cure hepatitis C. This has been a strong message in the activities mentioned above. In addition, we also supported the 'Equal Treatment Access' project undertaken through Hepatitis NSW. This included a large community petition to the Health Minister.

Page updated: 29 May 2015