Locals offered treatment option for Hep C

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FROM August 1, the 66,290 Shepparton residents living with untreated hepatitis C will have a new, once-daily, eight-week treatment option available to them.

The PBS listing of MAVIRET is part of the Federal Government’s $1B investment in new direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) treatments to help reach the World Health Organisation target of hepatitis C elimination by 2030.

The prevalence of chronic hepatitis in Shepparton is well above the national average. In Geelong, around 1.44 percent of the suburb’s population is diagnosed with hepatitis C and treatment uptake has been relatively low with only 108 people treated as at February 2017, well under 20 percent.

There are an estimated 200,000 Australians living with hepatitis C. Left untreated, hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Recent reports suggest treatment initiations have dropped to less than half the original monthly uptake, with uptake also generally lower in areas of estimated high prevalence.

Medical experts are urging people diagnosed with hepatitis C to come forward and talk to their GP about treatment options.