Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hepatitis C Drug Victrelis-Boceprevir released for public use in Australia.

A RECENTLY developed treatment for the most common form of hepatitis C has been approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 
Victrelis, also known as boceprevir, comes from a group of drugs known as a protease inhibitors.
Scientists say it is an effective way to fight hepatitis C, genotype 1.
The director of the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre in Sydney, Professor Geoff McCaughan, says people who suffer from this strand of hepatitis C now have their first new treatment option in a decade.

"In the last ten years there has been little development in the availability of treatments for hepatitis C and a significant proportion of patients fail to respond to current standard of care." Professor McCaughan said in a statement.

"Victrelis is an approved treatment that works directly on the hepatitis C virus and prevents it from replicating and therefore reproducing."
He said this was a big step forward in the battle against hepatitis C, genotype 1.
"Unfortunately, hepatitis C is a silent disease where there is very little awareness of the condition and patients often present late with severe complications.

"Hepatitis C is a huge burden for individuals and is still very heavily stigmatised, and having another new treatment option marks progress in the management of patients with the disease."
Hepatitis C affects more than 200,000 Australians, with 20,000 new cases reported each year.
A spokeswoman for the TGA said now that Victrelis had been approved it had been released for public use.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Committee is to consider listing the drug at its March meeting.

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