Year in Review: Maviret is still changing lives

Stephen Hassan is one of almost 3,500 New Zealanders who are now hepatitis C free, thanks to the life-changing medicine Maviret.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver, proving fatal for about 200 New Zealanders each year. PHARMAC has been funding Maviret, a treatment that is a cure for 98% of people, since February 2019.

Stephen discovered he had hepatitis C during routine blood tests. “I had no symptoms and certainly wasn’t expecting to have Hepatitis C,” says Stephen. “I was one of the lucky ones, discovering it before it did too much damage. Following an eight-week treatment programme taken at home, I’m now hepatitis C free, and so grateful for that.”

In 2019/20 PHARMAC spent over $129 million* to help more than 1,600 people like Stephen across New Zealand access this potential cure so that they can focus on getting the most out of life. People who are cured of hepatitis C are less likely to need ongoing visits to their GPs or hospital and are less likely to develop liver cancer or need a liver transplant.

The results so far have been great, and PHARMAC wants more people to get tested and treated for hepatitis C. People who think they could have been exposed to hepatitis C infection should speak to their GP about getting tested and, if they need it, get this funded treatment.