Two new “groundbreaking” Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments will be subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for more than 130,000 patients annually. Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivo) would be available to people over 18-years-old with a certain type of HCV (genotype 1).
Subsidising the two treatments cost more than $220 million over five years.
It was estimated in 2011 more than 300,000 Australians had been exposed to HCV and at least 220,000 were living with chronic Hepatitis C.
Last year, Australian infectious diseases expert Dr Joe Sasadeusz from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said there was emerging evidence that showed HCV could be sexually transmitted between HIV-positive men.
It was estimated up to 30 per cent of HIV-positive men also had HCV.
HCV is one of the most commonly reported notifiable diseases in Australia.