The availability of new antiviral agents opens the way for increasing GP involvement in the management of hepatitis C
The new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections became available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in March 2016. In September 2016, already over 10% of the estimated 230 500 Australians with chronic HCV infection had been treated.1 While such rapid uptake was unanticipated, it may represent the low-hanging fruit of the HCV epidemic: patients already enlisted in tertiary clinics waiting for treatment. From an epidemiological perspective, the remaining untreated patients may fall under the radar of tertiary-based clinics. If Australia is to capitalise on the opportunities of universal access to DAA therapies, it will require the concerted efforts of general practitioners to improve rates of diagnosis, assessment, treatment and follow-up in the community.
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