Hepatitis C illustration as blue cells. Credit: Shutterstock

Monitoring hepatitis C treatment uptake in Australia Issue 9, July 2018

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 58,280 individuals initiated direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection through Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) between March 2016 and March 2018, equating to 26% of the people living with chronic HCV infection in Australia.
  • Of individuals initiating DAA treatment in this period, 67% were men, and 51% were >50 years old.
  • The most commonly prescribed regimen was sofosbuvir/ledipasvir for 45%, followed by sofosbuvir+daclatasvir for 32%, and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir for 14%. Since sofosbuvir/velpatasvir was listed in August 2017, it has been the most commonly prescribed regimen with 64% of individuals initiating DAA treatment from August 2017 to March 2018 prescribed sofosbuvir/velpatasvir.
  • Of individuals initiated on sofosbuvir/velpatasvir, 40% were prescribed treatment by a specialist while 60% were prescribed treatment by non-specialists (30% by GPs).
  • Overall, 52% of individuals have been prescribed DAA treatment by specialists (42% by gastroenterologist, 7% by infectious diseases physicians, and 4% by other specialist), while 27% 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 40% in May 2017, followed by a relatively constant trend since then. During the first three months of 2018 (January to March), 38% of individuals initiating DAA treatment were prescribed treatment by GPs.