New Year brings new opportunities for people living with hepatitis C

In 2016 Australia became one of the first countries to offer the new generation medicines to treat and cure hepatitis C to all people living with hepatitis C at an affordable price. This world-leading approach resulted in tens of thousands of Australians taking up treatment within the first six months. This is an incredible leap forward in hepatitis C treatment access but it is still a small proportion of the 227,000 people living with hepatitis C in Australia.

The good news for 2017 is that more new medicines for hepatitis C will continue to become available and they will be more effective across a range of hepatitis C genotypes.  Eventually we will see the treatment of hepatitis C become even simpler for many people.

From 1 January a new medicine [grazoprevir + elbasvir], given as a once daily tablet, will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This extends treatment options for all people with genotype 1 and 4 infection, including those taking opioid substitution therapy and those with chronic kidney disease.

Hepatitis C treatments are continuing to evolve and improve and it is anticipated that more new hepatitis C treatments will be made available on the PBS during 2017, assisting Australia’s progress towards the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health concern.

The challenge for 2017 is to find ways to engage everyone affected by hepatitis C in care so they can benefit from the new treatments. An estimated 40,000 people living with hepatitis are yet to be diagnosed and many thousands more will need specific community level support to feel comfortable about engaging with the healthcare system. 

For more information about the medicines available in Australia to treat hepatitis C please download our fact sheet using the button below.

Please note: Other sections of this website containing information about treatments for hepatitis C will be updated after 9 January 2017