Getting back on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030

eliminating hepatitis C

Ahead of World Hepatitis Day (28 July), two experts share practical tips for pharmacists on bolstering testing and treatment to prevent unnecessary infections, complications and deaths.

Not so long ago, Australia was on track to reach the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.

Back in 2016, breakthrough direct-acting antiviral medicines – including ledipasvir, sofosbuvir, daclatasvir and ribavirin – became available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

These medicines, which are more efficacious, offer shorter treatment durations and have less adverse effects than previously used treatments, were made available to most patients with hepatitis C. 

This approach not only vastly reduced the incidence of hep C infections, but also helped to prevent the complications that develop when the condition is left untreated.

But despite making early headway towards the elimination goal, progress has since stalled – fuelled by stigma, low testing levels, and less accessible treatment for certain demographics.

With almost half a decade to go until 2030, now is the time for a shift in approach to better identify and treat patients with hep C.

Two experts in the field explain why pharmacists are integral on both fronts, and share advice for integrating testing and treatment advice into the provision of other pharmacy services.

Watch the video below to find out more.