Factsheet: Your rights and responsibilities when living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C

Hepatitis Australia,  23 April 2020

This brief factsheet provides an overview of peoples’ rights and responsibilities when living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Nurse Practitioner (s100) Prescribing Change

Hepatitis Australia, 3 April 2020

Hepatitis Australia warmly welcomes recent changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) allowing authorised Nurse Practitioners to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C medicines under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program.

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are under-treated and without improvement in a range of areas Australia risks falling short of agreed national and global viral hepatitis elimination goals. Expanded access to timely treatment and care is a critical component of the national response.

This important development acknowledges the clinical expertise of Nurse Practitioners and the therapeutic relationships they develop and maintain with highly stigmatised and often vulnerable populations.

Under previous arrangements, authorised Nurse Practitioners were able to prescribe treatments for hepatitis B and hepatitis C under the PBS General Schedule (s85). Where Nurse Practitioners were available in primary care services, this arrangement enhanced access to antiviral therapies in community settings.

From 1 April 2020, authorised Nurse Practitioners are also able to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C treatments under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program. This matters because some people are not able to access primary care settings. The change therefore improves the availability of treatment for vulnerable populations such as people living in remote and regional areas, people experiencing homelessness, and people in custodial settings.

Hepatitis Australia congratulates the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for recommending this important change, and we thank our colleagues at ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine) for their leadership in this matter.

Community members in need of more information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C may wish to contact 1800 437 222 (1800 HEP ABC). This National Hepatitis Infoline directs callers to the community-based hepatitis organisation in the relevant state or territory.

ASHM’s “Find a Prescriber” function helps community members find a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner who has attended ASHM’s hepatitis training. People can also speak to their GP about treatment.

https://ashm.org.au/news/pbac-endorse-np-prescribing-for-hepatitis-b-hepatitis-c-and-hiv-medicines/

and

http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/news/2020/04/authorised-nurse-practitioners-now-eligible-to-prescribe

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The above information was found here 

Australian Health Organisations refute Cochrane Review Report and affirm efficacy of DAA therapy for hepatitis C

Joint position statement, Australia, June 2017

This joint Position Statement aims to strongly refute and reject the findings of the Cochrane Review report titled Direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C, published by the Cochrane Hepato‐Biliary Group on 6 June 2017.

The Position Statement was prepared by the expert panel who published a Consensus Statement for Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C for virus infection representing the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Australian Liver Association), the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, the Australasian Hepatology Association, Hepatitis Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The organisations above developed this position statement to urge health practitioners and patients not to be swayed by this flawed report claiming new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C do not save lives.

Australian Government breaks silence on Hep C Inquiry

Hepatitis Australia, November 10, 2016

The Australian Government tabled its response to the Silent Disease – Inquiry into hepatitis C in Australia yesterday, but commits to little.  The Silent Disease Report was released by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health during June 2015 after extensive consultation with health experts, community organisations and people affected by hepatitis C.

In its response, the Government has fully agreed with just three of the ten recommendations in the report.

  • Read more here
  • Read the Government’s response here
  • Access the Silent Disease report here

Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C infection – app & website

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, July 2016

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health challenge for Australia, affecting approximately 230,000 people who are at risk of progressive liver fibrosis leading to cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The burden of liver disease due to HCV is projected to triple by 2030. The introduction of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies for HCV that are highly effective and well tolerated is a major medical advance. All Australians living with HCV should now be considered for antiviral therapy.

The Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement 2016 [PDF] was prepared by an expert panel representing the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Australian Liver Association), the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, the Australasian Hepatology Association, Hepatitis Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

It provides guidance on epidemiology, models of care, diagnosis, pre-treatment assessment, monitoring and treatment. It provides guidance on epidemiology, models of care, diagnosis, pre-treatment assessment, monitoring and treatment.

  • HCV Consensus Statement website here
  • Download the app (suitable for all Android mobile devices) from Google Play. Apple iTunes version available soon.

 

On World Hepatitis Day it’s time to talk about HIV and hepatitis C

National Association of people with HIV Australia, July 28 2016

On World Hepatitis Day, the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), the Kirby Institute and Hepatitis Australia are raising awareness about HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection.

An estimated 3,000 Australians are living both with HIV and HCV. HCV is more prevalent among people with HIV than in the broader population and is a major risk for health complications in people with HIV. HIV worsens hepatitis C-related liver disease, fastens the progression to cirrhosis, and leads to higher rates of death from both liver failure and liver cancer.

  • Read more by downloading document (MS Word) here: WHDMRFINAL
  • Access NAPHWA’s website here
  • Access Hepatitis SA’s website here