What 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:
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