22 Aug 2013

New drug for Hep C treatment

9:09 am on 22 August 2013

Pharmac expects a new hepatitis C drug to lift the cure rate from about 30% to up to 75%.

From 1 September, the State drug agency will fund boceprevir at a cost of $18 million over the next five years.

The drug is for the most common type of hepatitis C and will be made available to patients who test positive for a particular gene.

Hepatitis C is a virus that becomes a chronic infection and can cause fatal liver disease.

Auckland liver specialist Ed Gane said it will also halve the treatment time for many people, from a year down to six months.