Tag Archives: BC Ministry of Health

BC gives $5 million to expand hepatitis C efforts

BC gives $5 million to expand hepatitis C effortsApril 21, 2016 – The St. Paul’s Foundation, in collaboration with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BCCfE), the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the Vancouver Coastal Health, and the University of British Columbia, has been given $5 million for a research study on how to reduce new infections of hepatitis C in BC.

The funding will be used to “help those at increased risk of re-infection with hepatitis C, by focusing on engagement with the health system, and it will help to evaluate the health outcomes with our current treatment regimens,” stated Health Minister Terry Lake at the morning announcement in Vancouver.

The research will focus on “individuals in Vancouver who have been successfully cured of hepatitis C, but who have been identified as at increased risk of re-infection. It will also evaluate the impact and outcomes of current hepatitis C treatments, and identify the next steps required to optimize treatment outcomes in B.C.” (BCCfE)

This hepatitis C research funding announcement was made today by the Health Minister Terry Lake and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BCCfE)’s director Dr. Julio Montaner.

At the announcement, Dr. Mel Krajden, medical lead for hepatitis at the BC Centre for Disease Control, pointed out that “By understanding how to optimize treatment outcomes, we can maximize the individual and societal impact of these very promising therapies.” (BCCfE)

Links to More Information about the Announcement

Information from BCCfE’s press release

New BC hepatitis C treatment plans?

New BC hepatitis C treatment plans?In Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside yesterday, December 1st, B.C.’s Ministry of Health and Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, announced that they are looking to expand hepatitis C treatment in BC.

Their planned treatment expansion program, which is still in the discussion phase, will target core transmitters, those who’s lifestyles put them at risk for passing the virus on. The program will then work to treat others, sooner and in increased numbers, as treatment costs decrease.

Terry Lake, B.C.’s Minister of Health, stated Monday that “As we expand treatment and as the cost of those drugs come down, we will reach further upstream and treat more people, and treat them earlier.”

See the full Vancouver Sun article here.

BC’s PharmaCare lists Harvoni and Sovaldi!

Galexos Sovaldi pictureWhat follows is PHCN‘s press release regarding the BC Ministry of Health offering Harvoni and Sovaldi, but we want to also say WOW!!!  To everyone who has been waiting so long and so patiently for this day – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Stay tuned for continuing updates on other new drugs in the pipeline.

Here is PHCN’s press release:

Pacific Hepatitis C Network Welcomes Decision to Provide Access to New Therapies


B.C. Ministry of Health to offer two new hepatitis C virus drugs to eligible patients

Vancouver, B.C. – (March 23th, 2015) – Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN) today welcomed the B.C. Ministry of Health’s announcement that it will provide access to two new hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies, Harvoni and Sovaldi. HCV is considered one of the most serious public health issues facing Canadians, causing more years of life lost than any other infectious disease in the country.

“We are thrilled that these new therapies are now available to eligible patients,” says Daryl Luster, President of PHCN. “As a network and voice for those living with hepatitis C in British Columbia, these new treatments are a huge leap forward and will greatly change the outcome for those living with, and affected by, hep C.”

Harvoni and Sovaldi are two new therapies that, along with multiple other provinces in Canada, will be available to eligible patients in B.C. as of March 24th. Harvoni is a substantial step forward in HCV treatment because it is a highly curative, low-side effect therapy that is simple to take and is both ribavirin and interferon-free.

“In contrast with therapies used until now, this breakthrough hep C treatment has a cure rate of close to 100 per cent, with few or no side effects, as well as a shortened treatment cycle and is ribavirin-free,” says Daryl Luster. “The B.C. Government should be congratulated for taking this significant step forward that will help to eliminate hepatitis C in a generation.”

Often heralded as a “silent epidemic” because of its few or asymptomatic characteristics, HCV seriously affects the liver and can be difficult to treat. In fact, many Canadians living with HCV are unaware of their infection, primarily within the baby boomer demographic, which highlights the importance of implementing hep C screening processes across the nation.

Equally important as the availability of these new treatments and intensive hep C screening processes are monitoring, counseling and engaging with care to help prevent high numbers of HCV patients requiring intensive health care for advanced liver disease.

About the Pacific Hepatitis C Network

The Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN) is a non-profit community-based organization that was founded in March 2007. PCHN is a voice for those living with hep C and works as an advocacy group to bring together people living with, affected by and at-risk for the hep C infection, including people living with hepatitis C, health care providers, community-based service providers and community and government stakeholders. PCHN works alongside individuals, groups and organizations in efforts to strengthen our collective response to hepatitis C in BC. For more information please visit: http://ww.pacifichepc.org/, the Pacific Hepatitis C Network, or http://www.hepctip.ca/, PHCN’s Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project.

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For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Deb Schmitz

Pacific Hepatitis C Network


604 740 1092

Here is the link to the Minister’s announcement:  http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2015/03/bc-covers-two-curative-hepatitis-c-drugs.html