Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ireland: HSE to expand hepatitis C treatment programme

HSE to expand hepatitis C treatment programme
Paul Cullen, Sorcha Pollak

An estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in Ireland chronically infected with the disease

Anti-viral drugs that can cure Hepatitis C are to be provided to an additional 1,500 people with the disease, the HSE has announced.

The drugs, which can cure 90 per cent of cases, have already been used to treat 700 people with severe Hepatitis C.

The HSE said it is extending the clinical eligibility to Directly Acting Antivirals (DAAs) as part of the next phase of a plan to eliminate Hepatitis C in Ireland by 2026.

Some €30 million has been made available for the plan, which has been welcomed by Minister for Health Simon Harris.

“Expanding the programme will enable more people to get that chance at a cure, improving their lives immeasurably, while also helping free up scarce resources in our hospitals.”

Photograph: iStock

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