Transplant Australia today welcomed news the that Federal Government is to list additional new innovative antiviral treatments that have the long-term potential to eliminate Hepatitis C from the community.
Transplant Australia CEO Chris Thomas congratulated Health Minister Greg Hunt for the decision to list on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Epclusa, a medication combining the two antivirals sofosbuvir and velpatasvir.
The new medication may make it possible for the majority of the 200,000 Australians living with Hepatitis C to be free of the disease following a 12-week course.
“What also needs to be recognised is that Hepatis C is a significant underlying cause of liver disease leading to transplantation. In fact according to the Australia & New Zealand Liver Transplant Registry, close to one quarter of all liver transplants occur because of Hepatitis C,” Mr Thomas said.
“Access to these medications also mean that liver transplant recipients, following their surgery, will be able to undergo treatment to ensure the disease does not return.”
Mr Thomas said the Organ & Tissue Authority and national community groups such as Transplant Australia were working hard to improve the rate of organ and tissue donation in Australia.
“A much harder task is to actually reduce the demand, the number of Australians needing a transplant. Yet here we have the potential over the long-term to reduce the number of patients requiring a liver transplant. And that is good news.”
Transplant Australia was pleased to play a small role in working with a range of community groups to achieve this latest outcome; however it congratulated Hepatitis Australia for its leadership in this advocacy work.
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