The Australian Government response to Senate inquiry into hepatitis C and blood supply

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The Australian Government today announced its response to the Senate Inquiry into Hepatitis C and the Blood Supply.

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has produced a balanced report on a sensitive and difficult topic.

Although the Inquiry found that decision makers had made reasonable decisions in the 80s, based on the evidence available, medically acquired hepatitis C has hurt many people.

The Government has agreed to fund access to recombinant clotting factors for haemophilia patients. A small number will not be able to use recombinant products and will continue to be provided with plasma-derived clotting factors. The Government will provide ongoing funding of $80.7 million over four years, to be supplemented by the States and Territories.

The Government has asked the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to conduct a review of access to drugs to treat hepatitis C.

Mr Abbott said that the Government would consider a public awareness campaign in the context of finalising the second National Hepatitis C strategy later in the year.

The Senate Inquiry made three other recommendations which are a matter for discussion between the Commonwealth Government and State and Territory Health.

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