Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hep C sufferers angered by activist website ban - fixhepc website will be geoblocked

A website which raises awareness about a medical cure for hepatitis C could be hidden from Australians.
11:09pm, Jun 14, 2016
Richard Woolveridge

Hepatitis C patients are angry and perplexed that the government’s drug regulator is backing a campaigning website into a corner where it feels it has no choice but to make the site invisible to Australians.

The fixhepc website has been making thousands of sufferers aware of an affordable cure for their lethal illness since it launched last October seeing an initial audience of 5000 visitors mushroom to six million visits over seven months.

But from Wednesday, the fixhepc website will be geoblocked, meaning people using computers with Australian IP addresses will not be able to see it or the information it contains about a disease which affects nearly a quarter of a million Australians. Any of the 150 million sufferers elsewhere in the world will still be able to see the site.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has threatened the website’s campaigning founder Dr James Freeman, of Tasmania, with legal action because it argues his site “appears to promote the use and supply of prescription-only medicines”, an offence under Australian law.

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