Australia is on target to eliminate hepatitis C within 10 years due to the rapid uptake of a curative antiviral treatment program since its listing on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) a year ago.
A Kirby Institute report released on Tuesday supports predictions made by doctors last year that the infectious disease would be eliminated as a major public health threat by 2026.
The report shows more than 30,000 patients out of the 230,000 Australians living with chronic hep C were treated with the direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs in 2016.
A mistrust of the health system and ongoing stigma from health workers against injecting drug users are two significant barriers that could prevent people living with hepatitis C from accessing and continuing life-saving treatment, according to a new report by UNSW’s Centre for Social Research.
The report, which also examines risks factors, attitudes and knowledge regarding hepatitis B, highlighted that about one third of people living with the diseases are yet to be diagnosed and only 6% have been treated.
Up to 70 per cent of Victorians with suspected hepatitis C may not have received follow-up testing, putting them at risk of chronic liver disease and even cancer, University of Melbourne researchers say.
Testing rates for the disease—which affects almost 10 times more Australians than HIV—were lowest among young people aged 15-24, representing a massive missed opportunity for treatment before the disease becomes serious, according to a paper in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Lead author Kathryn Snow, of the University’s School of Population and Global Health, warned that liver cancer rates—which have tripled in Australia since 1982—could spiral without a concerted effort to raise awareness of hepatitis C among GPs and people living with the disease.
CANBERRA, July 28 (Xinhua) — Australia is on track to eliminate Hepatitis C in ten years if the current trend of people living with the virus getting new antiviral treatment continues, said a new analysis released on Thursday, the World Hepatitis Day.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley said that 20,000 Australians had already begun treatment to cure their debilitating Hepatitis C since the government first listed the breakthrough medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in March 2016.
She said about 5,000 of these Australians have already completed their course of treatment and early-indications show them to be free of the blood-borne liver disease.
July 28th is recognised across the globe as World Hepatitis Day (WHD).
World Hepatitis Day is one of only eight designated health days endorsed by the World Health Organization as mandated by the World Health Assembly. Over 400 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis B or C. Every year, 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis. With better awareness, understanding and management many of these deaths can be prevented.
A new World Hepatitis Day – Australia website is currently under construction and will be accessible atwww.worldhepatitisday.org.au
Burnet Institute has joined international hepatitis C experts in welcoming the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement of ambitious global targets and a goal to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
Australia is among the 194 countries who have adopted the WHO’s first-ever Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis (GHSS) that includes a set of prevention and treatment targets. If these are reached, more than seven million lives could be saved by 2030. For the first time the elimination of viral hepatitis could become a reality.
The Turnbull government will spend more than $1 billion to make breakthrough hepatitis C cures available to all as part of an ambitious new plan to eradicate the deadly disease within a generation.
Health Minister Sussan Ley will announce the major new Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing on Sunday, in a move that will give Australia’s 230,000 hepatitis C sufferers affordable access to the drugs.
The drugs can currently cost patients up to $100,000. Under the subsidy, they will be available for the normal PBS co-payment of $37.70 for general patients and $6.10 for concessional patients.