Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald, a passionate advocate for Hepatitis C public awareness and funding, has today welcomed news of more than $1billion in Commonwealth funding to give sufferers affordable access to breakthrough cures.
Senator Macdonald, whose nephew had beaten this disease with an old, difficult treatment that took over 12 months and had many horrendous side effects, said the new treatments were very effective, took only a few months and didn't have the side effects of earlier treatments.
"This new funding by the Turnbull Government will be the best Christmas present ever for sufferers and their families."
“Hepatitis C is a debilitating and misunderstood condition, and one which by default, carries far too much stigma,” Senator Macdonald said.
“This funding will not only ensure those with Hepatitis C will be able to access to the latest medicines, hopefully it will also help break down some of the mistruths surrounding the deadly disease.”
Hepatitis C is an infectious blood borne virus which attacks and causes inflammation to the liver, leading to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer and, in some cases, death.
It’s estimated 230,000 Australians, one percent of the population, live with Hep C.
Once the new Hep C medicines are listed on 1 March, 2016, the costs for patients will drop from up to $100,000 to the normal co-payment for PBS medicines, currently $6.10 for a concessional patient, and $37.70 for general patients.
“Hopefully, through this massive injection of funds, we can work towards an end to this deadly and debilitating disease,” Senator Macdonald said.