Monday, 21 December 2015 22:52

PBS Listing - Almost Heaven

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I don't have permission to attribute this but the source is impeccable:

Hi James

I think we should publicise the following key features of the PBS arrangement:

  1. All patients (>=18 years) with chronic hepatitis C will be able to access treatment through PBS. No restrictions based on liver disease stage or otherwise.
  2. The PBS is an uncapped program. There are no caps on number of patients who can access these treatments.
  3.  GPs will be able to prescribe following consultation with a specialist and community dispensing allowed.

The last point is something I am sure you will be pleased with. There apparently will not be an accreditation required, just an arrangement with a specialist clinician.

Kind regards

<Not John Denver>

Which is 100% awesome news.

And here is the Minister's Official Statement:

OMG they are serious, although there is a get out of payment free card:

Ms Ley said like access to all PBS medicines, funding was demand driven and the Government would account for any potential variations in spending accordingly. 

And here is the Official Fact Sheet$File/SL-154.pdf

And here is what the AMA say:

Yes it will be paid for by the pathology cuts.....

And here is what Australian Doctor had to say about it:

Hepatitis C cures to be listed on the PBS

Alice Klein | 21 December, 2015 

The PBS listing of four new hepatitis C drugs will enable patients to clear the infection in as little as eight weeks, the Federal Government says.

The antivirals sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (Harvoni), daclatasvir (Daklinza), and ribavirin (Ibavyr), which cost as much as $100,000 for a full course of treatment on the private market, will be made available through the PBS on 1 March 2016.

Combinations of the new-generation antivirals will be used to target the six different genotypes of hepatitis C, with the cure rate expected to be more than 90%. 

"With this announcement, there is great hope we can not only halt the spread of this deadly infectious virus, but eradicate it altogether in time," Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Sunday. 

GPs will be able to prescribe the four hepatitis C drugs in, or following, consultation with a specialist, according to a factsheet published by the minister's office.

All hepatitis C patients will be eligible for the drugs on the clinical advice of their treating doctors.

A spokesperson told Australian Doctor that GPs will be able to consult with a specialist by phone, mail, email or videoconference.  

The new treatments are better tolerated and require shorter durations than existing therapies, he said.

Treatment times range from 8 to 24 weeks depending on the hepatitis C genotype, the drug used and the patient's treatment history. 

Because the prevalence of hepatitis C is markedly higher in prisons, the new antivirals will also be made available to prisoners through the PBS, even though their healthcare costs are usually the responsibility of state and territory governments. 

Hepatitis Australia has welcomed the news, with CEO Helen Tyrrell calling it a "watershed" for the 230,000 Australians living with the disease. 

"So many people have been anxiously waiting for this announcement. This is wonderful news and it is such a relief to have an end to the uncertainty," she said. 

However, some doctors are unhappy that the $1 billion funding for the new hepatitis C drugs has come at the expense of funds being redirected from other health services. 

Ms Ley has confirmed that budget cuts to pathology and radiology announced last week as part of the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook were made so the government could fund the hepatitis C treatments. 

The AMA said it was wrong to cut funding for pathology and diagnostic imaging in order to fund one specific treatment. 

"They shouldn't be using patients to justify these funding cuts," AMA President Professor Brian Owler told News Corp. 

"I don't think there is a place for moral debate in health policy. As doctors we treat everyone, it's not about having a debate about more deserving citizens than others."

Read 105791 times Last modified on Monday, 21 December 2015 23:56

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