New hepatitis C medication is available now. At East Sydney Doctors we are committed to ensuring that all people living with hepatitis C have access to the new treatments. If you are interested in new treatment please book in with one of our general practitioners (GPs).
We also have 2 visiting liver specialists Associate Professor Gail Matthews - an infectious disease specialist and Dr Richard Shew - a gastroenterologist who are both expert in hepatitis management.
The new medications available now are sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (in a single tablet called Harvoni), sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and daclatasvir (Daklinza). Used in combination these medications can cure at least 90% of people with chronic hepatitis C infection. The course of treatment is usually only 8 - 12 weeks and causes few side effects in most people. Other new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C will become available later in the year.
These medications can be prescribed by our GPs in consultation with a specialist. They are available through the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS), like other prescriptions medications, so the cost will be $38.30 a month per medication or $6.20 if you have a health care card.
Prior to treatment you need to have some investigations performed including a blood test to check your liver and to confirm the type of hepatitis C that you have. You can then have a FibroScan performed to determine the amount of liver scaring (fibrosis) that has occurred. We generally have access to a FibroScan machine at East Sydney Doctors. This test usually only takes about 5 minutes to perform and is painless.
If you have any questions talk to one of our experienced GPs. You can also ring the National Hepatitis Information line on 1800 437 222 or go on line to Hepatitis Australia http://www.hepatitisaustralia.com