Additional hepatitis C medicine before PBAC in July

As we wait to hear if the Australian Government will adopt the recommendations from the March meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) an additional medicine for hepatitis C is on the agenda for PBACs meeting in July.

Known as Viekira Pak® overseas, the combination of paritaprevir with ritonavir, ombitasvir and dasabuvir will be considered for possible listing on the Pharmceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This is another highly effective treatment with data demonstrating high cure rates. AbbVie Pty Ltd has lodged the application for use in the treatment of hepatitis C genotype 1. The application also includes Viekira Pak-RBV® which is the same combination therapy with ribavirin included. Hepatitis Australia will provide more specific information about the Australian application when possible.

As with the medicines recently recommended for PBS listing, but yet to be approved, the treatment regimen does not, in most cases, require the use of peg-interferon and reduces the duration of treatment. Adding this regimen to those currently awaiting approval will expand the options available to people living with chronic hepatitis C and further enhance the opportunity to make hepatitis C in Australia a thing of the past.

Once again, the community is encouraged to provide ‘consumer comment’ about the new medicines being considered.  This can be in the form of a written submission or by using the online form provided on the PBS website.  Consumer comments close on the 10th June.