New highly effective interferon-free hepatitis C medicines that are well tolerated have been made available through both the PBS General Schedule ('Section 85') and the Section 100 (s100) Highly Specialised Drugs (HSD) Program from March 1, 2016.
Importantly, general practitioners and other primary health care practitioners can prescribe these DAAs provided this is done in consultation with a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious diseases physician experienced in the treatment of hepatitis C.
(Image: Dr David Baker performs a liver fibroscan on a training course participant)
ASHM has received numerous requests for training in the use of these new DAAs. Three comprehensive one-day training courses (which also include an eLearning component) have already been scheduled in NSW between March and June 2016 which will see over 100 doctors trained in this area.
The first course was run on March 12 with 35 participants. 87.5% of participant feedback reported that the blended learning approach was the preferred method of training. Part One of the course comprises 5 online modules to be completed prior to the face-to-face one-day course. Part Two of the course is a face-to-face workshop to reinforce the assessment, clinical management and treatment of patients with HCV through case study discussions. Over 87% of course participants stated they would prescribe the new DAAs and rated their level of confidence in patient assessment and prescribing antiviral therapy as high after completing this course.
The other training dates for the one-day course in NSW are May 7 and June 11, 2016.
These courses in Hepatitis C New Treatments will also be run nationally throughout the year in locations including Perth, Darwin, Hobart (or Launceston), Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Expressions of interest to attend these courses can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The one-day courses are aligned with the PBS criteria and the Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement 2016.
More information on HCV courses is available at http://www.ashm.org.au/hcv/training
A list of proposed national courses is available here