Australia recently became the first country in the world to make direct-acting antivirals free for all of its citizens who have hep C and are at any stage of fibrosis. The government health plan pays for the drugs.
Anyone who has hepatitis C and holds a Medicare Card (every Australian citizen gets one) can be treated though their general practitioner. The process is simple. After a person tests positive for HCV, their doctor consults with a hepatologist or gastroenterologist and writes the prescription. It doesn’t matter how high—or low—the person scores on a Fibroscan.
The country’s Prescription Benefit Scheme pays for the drugs. The patient pays either a $6 or a $38 dispensing fee, depending on income.
The unfettered, virtually free DAA treatment policy was introduced in March after intense campaigning from Hepatitis Australia and other advocacy groups.