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 the hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis Foundation CEO Susan Hay says PHARMAC’s proposal is fantastic news for people living with hepatitis C in New Zealand. “While Harvoni was made available to treat severe liver disease in July last year, this new development would mean that even more people living with hepatitis C in New Zealand could gain access to a highly effective new-generation treatment.
“More than 50,000 people in New Zealand are living with hepatitis C in New Zealand and many of those people are undiagnosed. With World Hepatitis Day approaching in July, we encourage people to get tested if they are at risk and seek treatment if they are eligible for the new generation medications.”
Ms Hay says that while the announcement is a step further in the right direction, in the near future it would be great to see medications funded in New Zealand to treat everyone living with hepatitis C. Currently new-generation treatments are available for about 50 per cent of people with the virus.
PHARMAC welcomes feedback on the proposal to fund Harvoni and several other treatments from 1 July 2017. The consultation period will conclude on Friday 26 May 2017.
PHARMAC’s proposal to fund several new medications comes after the Government announced it would provide PHARMAC with an extra $60 million.
Read the full story from PHARMAC here.
For more information on submitting feedback on this proposal click here.