The recent listing of new treatments for hepatitis C on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has seen many people visit their doctor and obtain a prescription for the new direct-acting antiviral medicines - 2,400 in the first half of March. The new medicines can now be obtained through local pharmacies/chemists in many cases which is great news for many people living with chronic hepatitis C.
However, Hepatitis Australia is aware that system issues are resulting in some people experiencing difficulties in getting their prescription filled at their local community pharmacy and that this is very distressing for people who have made the important decision to commence treatment.
We are liaising with the Health Minister’s office, pharmaceutical companies and the Pharmacy Guild in an attempt to have the identified system problems resolved as soon as possible.
Until these problems are fully resolved we recommend:
- You ask to speak direct to the Pharmacist when you present your hepatitis C prescription at a community pharmacy,
- You discuss with them whether they will work with you to obtain the hepatitis C medicines for you,
- You bear in mind that almost all pharmacies will need to place an order to obtain the medicines which may result in a short delay (24 – 72 hours),
- If any particular pharmacy declines to work with you to obtain the medicines you contact our helpline by calling 1800 437 222 during business hours.
If you have recently visited a community pharmacy to have your prescription filled for either hepatitis B or hepatitis C medicines, then we would like to hear about your experience. You can do so by answering a few simple questions using our online form