Breakthrough hepatitis C cure drugs will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 March 2016 and will be accessible to all Victorians living with hepatitis C over 18 years of age. These revolutionary treatments will change the lives of all Victorians living with hepatitis C.
The new hepatitis C medicines are: sofosbuvir with ledipasvir (Harvoni); sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); daclatasvir (Daklinza); and ribavirin (Ibavyr). Treatment regimens will involve daily combinations of one to three of these drugs taken orally over a period of 8 to 24 weeks.
The new drugs eliminate the hepatitis C virus in 95-97 per cent of cases in as little as 8 weeks, and have few or no side effects. This is a major change from previously used treatments which were highly toxic and took between six and twelve months to complete with only a 50 per cent chance of clearing the virus.
The new drugs will have a dual listing on the PBS: the Section 85 listing will be for community access and the Section 100 listing is intended for prisoner access to ensure that as many people as possible are able to access the new drugs.
More detailed information on the new hepatitis C treatments is available at the Better Health Channel.
Factsheets and Frequently Asked Questions for patients and professionals regarding the new hepatitis C treatments and drugs are also available at Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The Australian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) is providing education and training for the new hepatitis C treatments. The full ASHM hepatitis C treatments training program is provided in the Downloads section.