Landmark day for Hep C sufferers

Today marks a watershed day for sufferers of Hepatitis C and their families as previously unaffordable medication for the disease becomes available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, according to Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald.

Senator Macdonald, a passionate advocate for Hep C public awareness and funding, said the $1billion in Commonwealth funding means everyone who suffers from the deadly disease can now access life-saving treatment.

“Hepatitis C is a debilitating and misunderstood condition and one which by default carries far too much stigma.” Senator Macdonald said.

“Hopefully by improving access to treatment we can also help break down some of the mistruths surrounding the disease, and provide a cure for the 230,000 Australians who suffer from it.”

Senator Macdonald said his nephew had suffered from the condition, spending over 12 months battling it with an old, difficult treatment that had many painful and unpleasant side-effects.

The new treatments that are, as of today, funded on the PBS are far more effective, work faster with fewer side effects and have a cure rate of over 90 per cent, Senator Macdonald said.

Hepatitis C is an infectious blood borne virus that attacks the liver causing inflammation and may lead to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer and in some cases, death.

Today’s announcement will see the listing of multiple drug combinations to ensure cures for all types of Hep C are available to everyone through the PBS.

Individuals suffering from the disease are encouraged to contact their local GP to determine the best course of treatment. 

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