New research supports the removal of drug use as a restriction to life-saving hep C treatment

New, highly curative hepatitis C therapy is both safe and effective as a treatment option for people who inject drugs receiving opioid substitution therapy according to the results of a world-first clinical trial led by Professor Gregory Dore at the Kirby Institute at UNSW Australia and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Health experts say more attention needs to be focused on the treatment of Hepatitis B - the deadly liver disease which affects more than 220,000 Australians.

Australia leads the world in curing Hepatitis C, with record numbers receiving treatment for the virus in the last five months.

But, awareness of testing and treatment is not the same for those living with the liver disease Hepatitis B – an issue health experts say needs urgent attention.

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Access to very expensive drugs such as Hepatitis C medicines are one of several issues raised in the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Review discussion paper

A recent AJP poll showed that up to 30% of pharmacies might not offer the newly-listed Hepatitis C cures to patients because of the impact on the pharmacies’ business.

More than 20% were already not supplying them, with more pharmacies considering restricting their script numbers for these drugs or ceasing to offer them.

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