Hepatitis C illustration as blue cells. Credit: Shutterstock

Monitoring hepatitis C treatment uptake in Australia Issue 8, December 2017

This report summarises data on the prescription and distribution of hepatitis C treatments and provides insight into the initial phase of the roll-out of DAA therapy in Australia. 

Key findings
  • An estimated 43,360 individuals initiated direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection through Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) between March 2016 and June 2017, equating to 19% of the people living with chronic HCV infection in Australia.
  • Of individuals initiating DAA treatment in this period, 66% were men, 54% were >50 years old, and 27% had cirrhosis.
  • The most commonly prescribed regimen was sofosbuvir/ledipasvir for 53%, followed by sofosbuvir+daclatasvir for 39%.
  • Of individuals initiated on sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, 16% were prescribed an 8-week course, 75% a 12-week course, and 10% a 24-week course. Of individuals initiated on sofosbuvir+daclatasvir, 67% were prescribed a 12-week course, and 33% a 24-week course.
  • Overall, 57% of individuals were prescribed DAA treatment by specialists (46% by gastroenterologist, 7% by infectious diseases physicians, and 4% by other specialist), while 22% of individuals were prescribed DAA treatment by general practitioners (GPs). The proportion of individuals prescribed DAA treatment by GPs increased from 8% in March 2016 to 39% in June 2017.