Hepatitis C community prescribing
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of direct acting antiviral medications means many people living with hepatitis C can now be treated outside of specialist settings, for example, by their general practitioner in the community.
These medications can be prescribed under section 85 (General Schedule) and non-specialist medical practitioners no longer need to be accredited under the section 100 (Highly Specialised Drugs) program to be eligible to prescribe.
For more information, please refer to the following websites:
- PBS: General Statement for Drugs for the Treatment of Hepatitis C
- Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM)
Support for clinicians
Non-specialist clinicians can gain experience in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C by treating patients with specialist support, and through participation in hepatitis C training courses offered by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). For more information, visit the ASHM website.
A team of Viral Hepatitis Support Nurses in SA provide advice to GPs on the management of patients with viral hepatitis, including assistance with referral to specialists. Patients may also speak to the nurses directly. See the Viral Hepatitis Nursing Support page for more information.
While many patients can now be treated in primary care some patients will require specialist management.
If a patient presents with co-morbidities/features outside the scope of the clinician’s expertise with respect to the treatment of hepatitis C and/or requires treatment with pegylated interferon then the clinician should:
- seek specialist support from a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious diseases physician experienced in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C to assist in the management of the patient by submitting the Remote Consultation Request for Initiation of Hepatitis C Treatment form; or
- refer the patient to a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious diseases physician experienced in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C for specialist management.
If a patient wishes to be considered for potential clinical trials for new Hepatitis C regimens, they should also be referred to a specialist.
Experienced Community Clinicians in South Australia
In addition to specialist gastroenterologists and infectious disease physicians, there are a number of community clinicians who are accredited or experienced in the management of patients with chronic HCV in South Australia. For a list of these clinicians please visit the ASHM website.
Decision making tools
Clinicians can use the following quick reference tools to assist with decision making:
Other treatment resources
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia
- HEP Drug Interaction Checker
- PBS regimen matrices
- ASHM Testing Portal
- Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement