Time for New Cures – Call on the Turnbull Government to list new hepatitis C medicines to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
New treatments have the potential to cure many people living with hepatitis C, avoiding the suffering and cost of the increasing rates of liver disease we are currently seeing in Australia. Nearly 3000 Australians living with hepatitis C have progressed to severe liver disease in the last year and thousands more are waiting for new treatments to be made available.
You can help by letting the Federal Government known that you want to see these treatments made available to Australians who need them.
Take Action by Writing to your Federal MP below.
We know these treatments are very effective, and will save many people from developing liver disease. We know they are more cost effective than current treatments.
Tell the Turnbull Coalition government you support new treatments being made available to your fellow Australians by writing to your Federal Members of Parliament here, by: 2. Writing to the Hon Health Minister, Sussan Ley who is responsible for raising the matter in Cabinet:
1. Writing to your own local Member of the House of Representative
Post: The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health
Suite M1 41 , Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600
Minister's Office: 1300 303 203
Send a message: www.facebook.com/SussanLeyMP
Tweet the Minster: www.twitter.com/SussanLey
To join the conversation use the hastag #TimeforAction when sending a message via social media.
FAQ's about New Treatments
How are new treatments approved and Funded in Australia?
There is a three step process for medicines to go through before they can be made available to people who need them. The Treatments for hepatitis C have passed step one and step two, and we are just waiting for the Federal Government to approve them for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This last step will make the medications affordable for people living with hepatitis C to access.
Step 1: Authorisation by the Therapeutic Goods Authority
The Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) is Australia’s regulatory authority for therapeutic goods. They assess new medication and authorise for supply, import, export, manufacturing and advertising in Australia.
Step 2: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Recommendation
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is an independent body of experts appointed by the Federal Government. PBAC consider the medical conditions for which the medicine was registered, as well as its clinical effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness (‘value for money’) compared with other treatments.
This is where we are at now in Australia!
Step 3: Approval for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Once a medication has been recommended by PBAC, the federal government needs to decide approve the cost of the medicines so that it can be added to the list of subsidised medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
This means that the Government will covering most of the costs and it only then that the medicine is available at an affordable price. The decision is conventionally made by Cabinet, and it is anticipated that this will be considered in November or December this year.
Which medicines are under consideration?
The following medications for hepatitis C have been recommended by PBAC:
Viekira Pak (Paritaprevir/Ritonavir/Ombitasvir/Dasabuvir)
Viekira Pak RBV (Paritaprevir/Ritonavir/Ombitasvir/Dasabuvir/ Ribaviron)