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 today supports predictions that the infectious disease would be eliminated as a major public health threat by 2026.
The report estimates that more than 30,000 patients out of the 230,000 Australians living with chronic hep C were treated with the new curative treatments in 2016.
Melanie Eagle, CEO, Hepatitis Victoria says the report highlights the progress made. “Nearly 15% of people have accessed cures, with over 7,000 of these in Victoria. The numbers of GPs who are prescribing is also increasing. It’s life changing. But more work needs to be done to eliminate hep C.
This includes increasing treatment for people as yet undiagnosed, those unaware of treatment availability, and marginalised people, including prisoners, indigenous Australians, and people who inject drugs.
We need to combine treatment, with increased efforts in prevention and stopping reinfection. Access to clean and safe injecting is also necessary for elimination.”