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“Thank you to all of our talented and caring nurses working at the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand. You make a difference to the lives of our patients and their families every day. Your commitment to quality care and your willingness to go the extra mile is greatly appreciated and valued by our patients, our doctors and your colleagues.”
PHARMAC proposes to make Harvoni more widely available for people living with hepatitis C in New Zealand
PHARMAC has announced a proposal to make Harvoni (Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) more widely available for people living with chronic hepatitis C in New Zealand. Harvoni has a cure rate of 90+ per cent, as well as fewer side-effects and shorter treatment duration than previous treatment options. The medication is taken in tablet form and can treat all genotypes of hepatitis C.
Patients who were registered with the Hepatitis Foundation’s National Hepatitis C Follow-up Programme will now have their monitoring and follow-up managed by their local GP. Over the next few months’ hepatitis C patient care will be transferred to DHBs (District Health Boards) and managed from a regional perspective.
The Foundation have launched a new website this month! This website has been developed to be easier to navigate and more user friendly than the previous version. The internet is an ever changing environment and the Foundation wants to help visitors find information, support and news quickly and easily. As a part of this initiative, the Foundation is also launching a quarterly hepatitis enewsletter. Users can sign up for the enewsletter through the website homepage.
The Hepatitis Foundation will gift one FibroScan to the Auckland Needle Exchange and the other to Christchurch District Health Board (DHB) which will also be used by the Christchurch Needle Exchange and surrounding DHBs.
Nurses will gain knowledge at the conference which will be passed on to their colleagues, allowing the conference to educate many health professionals around the country. The conference will be held on October 27 – 28 at The Heritage Hotel, Auckland.
Viekira Pak, a breakthrough treatment which was previously out of reach to ordinary New Zealanders, is now fully funded by Pharmac. The drug treats people with hepatitis C genotype 1 who have compensated disease, which is more than half of all New Zealanders living with the virus.
About hepatitis B in New Zealand
Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood or body fluids. An estimated 100,000 people live with chronic hepatitis B in New Zealand.
Those most at risk of hepatitis B are people who:
About hepatitis C in New Zealand
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that can damage the liver. The virus causes inflammation of the liver, which can affect the way the liver functions. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection. However, in many cases, it can be cured. An estimated 50,000 people have chronic hepatitis C in New Zealand. However, only 40 per cent are aware they have the virus.
People at risk of hepatitis C are those who:
Hepatitis C has recently become the leading cause of liver transplantation and liver cancer in New Zealand. If no action is taken, the number of people developing liver cancer or dying as a result of chronic hepatitis C in New Zealand will treble by 2030.
About The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand
The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve health outcomes for people living with chronic hepatitis B and C. The Hepatitis Foundation is funded by the Ministry of Health to promote positive health outcomes through education and research into viral hepatitis, and early detection and long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis B and C.