Labor welcomes today’s long overdue listing of new hepatitis C treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The listing of these drugs will be life changing, and potentially life saving for the hundreds of thousands of Australians with hepatitis C.
The latestKirby Institute surveillance report shows the number of Australians living with hepatitis C-related severe liver disease has more than doubled over the past decade with an estimated 230,000 people living with hepatitis-C in 2014.
Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplantation in Australia and accounted for an estimated 690 deaths in 2014.
Labor made substantial reforms to the PBS that put the Commonwealth in a much better position to list these drugs quickly and patients should not have been forced to wait almost a year after they were recommended for listing by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee at its March 2015 meeting.
Labor hopes today’s listing will help to improve survival rates and the quality of life for hepatitis sufferers and reduce the lifetime burden of treating this disease for both patients and the healthcare system.