Important message from Graham Foster, co-chair of the Hepatitis CRG
Thursday 16 April 2015
I am writing to update you on the progress of accessing all oral antiviral therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C. At present patients with decompensated cirrhosis are offered treatment with all oral agents as part of the Early Access Programme. This is delivered through 17 centres and the programme will continue for the foreseeable future. We hope to extend the offer of all oral antiviral therapy to all patients with cirrhosis in the very near future and, towards the end of the year, we hope to be able to offer these treatments to patients with less advanced fibrosis. We intend to deliver therapy to patients with cirrhosis and less advanced fibrosis through networks with patients managed and treated at their local centre.
As you know we had hoped to offer therapy to patients with cirrhosis in April but I am afraid that this deadline has now slipped due to the processes and committees such policies need to go through at NHSE and although we hope to be able to start patients on treatment in May there may be some further slippage and I think it would be prudent to advise patients that treatment is likely to commence in June. The CRG will continue to work with NHS England to ensure that these therapies are made available as quickly as possible.
I will continue to update physicians as more information is available and look forward to seeing many of you at the EASL meeting in Vienna.