Steve Irons MP Federal Member for Swan

Hep C cures available now

March 2, 2016

Hepatitis C sufferers now have access to publicly-subsidised breakthrough cures that could eradicate the deadly and debilitating disease within a generation, thanks to an investment of more than $1 billion by the Turnbull Government.

Federal Member for Swan Steve Irons chaired the report on the inquiry into Hepatitis C in Australia and has welcomed this subsidy.

Australians with Hep C will now pay just $6.20 a prescription if they were a concession card holder or $38.30 a prescription as a general patient for four different cures listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme today – saving patients as much as $100,000 for treatment.

When taken as prescribed, the four breakthrough medicines listed today had a cure rate of over 90 per cent and worked faster and with fewer side effects than anything else previously subsidised on the PBS.

Mr Irons said the Health Committee recommended exploring ways in which the patients experience in general practice could be improved for people living with hepatitis C, through better information provision, improved treatment processes and patient counselling.

“This investment makes Australia is one of the first countries in the world to publicly subsidise these cures for every Hep C sufferer, no matter what their condition or how they contracted it,” Mr Irons said.

“We are hoping to eliminate one the great disease challenges facing Australia.”

Hepatitis C is an infectious blood borne virus that attacks the liver, causing its inflammation, and may lead to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer and, in some cases, death. It has six different genotypes.

There are about 700 deaths attributable to chronic Hep C infection each year, with thousands more suffering a variety of serious liver diseases and conditions.

As a result deaths from primary liver cancer, for which untreated Hep C is a major driver, are rising faster than for any other cancer.

These Hep C cures were part of $1.6 billion the Turnbull Government invested in its recent MYEFO update.

Contact Steve

Send Steve an Email

08 9355 0099 (Office)

08 9355 0199 (Fax)