Tag Archives: Honourable Terry Lake

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.

MLA’s luncheon

sq_experiencesOn November 18th, the PHCN hosted Honourable Terry Lake, BC Minister of Health, and 15 other BC Government MLAs at a MLA’s luncheon in Victoria. Speeches were made about hepatitis C and the policy changes needed to ensure that more people in BC get tested, treated, and cured of hepatitis C.

Daryl Luster, PHCN Board President, described his experience with hepatitis C—beginning to feel ill, 3 years of tests and worsening symptoms, an ‘accidental’ hepatitis C diagnosis, and a fortunate clinical trial where Daryl, after a fairly debilitating round of new and old hep C treatments, cleared the virus. Daryl spoke of how he wanted to spare other hep C patients the experience of worsening symptoms and not being able to find help for far too long. He made a promise then to work hard to see changes that would make it easier for anyone with hepatitis C to get tested, treated, and cured.

Dr. Mel Krajden, Director of BC Hepatitis Services at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), presented as well. Dr. Krajden spoke to the different groups of people with hep C—baby boomers, people who use injection drugs, immigrant populations, and aboriginal communities—and about how each group has specific needs. He said that while the Treatment as Prevention is a good approach for reaching and engaging people who are marginalized, other strategies are required. For instance, for baby boomers, he recommends a ‘Test, Triage, and Treat’ approach.

We spoke to the need for new treatments to be listed with PharmaCare with no unnecessary restrictions as soon as possible. We urged the government to seize the opportunity to be leaders in the fight to eradicate hepatitis C—a very real possibility.

Health Minister Lake spoke to the government’s commitment to addressing viral hepatitis and the ongoing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for new drug prices. The Ministry of Health sees great value in the ‘Treatment as Prevention’ approach.

We hope that the government also sees that different populations have different needs and we want to be smart and strategic in how needs are met!

In addition, Daryl and Dr. Mel Krajden also met with political staff in Minister Lake’s office as well as with Ministry of Health staff in the Population and Public Health branch to discuss these same issues.

Stay tuned for more Hep C TIP Advocacy News!