Katherine residents living with untreated hepatitis C now have a new eight week treatment option.
The prevalence of chronic hepatitis in the Northern Territory is well above the national average and in Katherine around 272 people have been diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Left untreated the virus can cause cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
This month a new once-daily, eight-week treatment for adults was made available.
Listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Maviret, is helping to achieve hepatitis C elimination in Australia.
The PBS listing is part of the Federal Government’s $1 billion investment in new direct-acting antiviral treatments to help reach the World Health Organisation target of elimination of hepatitis C by 2030.
“The inclusion of Maviret on the PBS provides a further tool in the strategy to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat in Australia, and globally,” head of the viral hepatitis clinical research program at the University of New South Wales, Professor Gregory Dore said.
Australians with hepatitis C are encouraged to see their GP to have their liver health assessed and to discuss treatment options.