Hepatitis Australia Seeks Federal Election Commitments for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

We are at a critical juncture - without immediate increased investment and action the 2022 National Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C targets will likely not be achieved and promise of elimination may fade away. In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election Hepatitis Australia has laid out our requests to the major parties to get us back on track

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Government happy with status quo for hepatitis as WHO elimination targets start to slip and cancer rates increase

Hepatitis Australia welcomes the Government’s broad commitment to Australia’s National Strategies addressing blood borne virus (BBVs) and in particular supports its increased focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and the broader Indigenous health funding announced in the Federal Budget. 

However, Hepatitis Australia notes the lack of additional support to reverse the sharp decline in people being cured of hepatitis C and the apparent lack of recognition of liver cancer and deaths related to hepatitis B.

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New option for those missing out on a cure for hep C

From 1 April an additional medicine to cure hepatitis C has been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) adding to the current list of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), which started being listed back in March 2016.

As outlined on the PBS General Statement for Drugs for the Treatment of Hepatitis C, VOSEVI® (sofosbuvir with velpatasvir and voxilaprevir) has been listed as a re-treatment option for people who have not had success with other DAAs containing a NS5A inhibitor.  

The medicines listed since March 2016, used to treat hepatitis C, are all highly effective offering a cure for most people who take them. However, for just over 3% of people who have used the existing DAAs, a cure has not been forthcoming.  It is hoped the introduction of VOSEVI® may change this after 12 weeks of treatment.

People who have tried the existing DAAs but have not been cured are encouraged to go back to their doctor to discuss trying this new treatment option. 

It is hoped that having this new DAA will now elevate the success rates of the new medicines and see 100% of people with hepatitis C being cured of the virus.

At Hepatitis Australia we will shortly be updating our information about hepatitis C treatment to include VOSEVI®