Hep C can be cured, with the right support

Although these treatments have been dubbed “modern medical miracles”, they are expensive, and the first, sofosbuvir, was rejected by the PBAC in July.

GPs should also have a central role in prescribing these “safe and highly effective” drugs that could cure 90% of people living with hepatitis C, according to Associate Professor Benjamin Cowie, epidemiologist and physician at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne.

“The idea we can cure all of these people living with a chronic infection in the space of 2—3 months with effective treatment... it’s an absolute revolution,” said Professor Cowie, who is also vice-president of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine.

He warned that if the drugs are not available through primary care, and if GPs are not adequately supported, patients may have waiting times of around a year to get treated.