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The HSE told the Medical Independent (MI) that she is being joined by Prof Suzanne Norris, Consultant Hepatologist, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, who, as MI recently revealed, has been appointed as the Hepatitis C Treatment Programme Clinical Lead.
The Programme was established in the HSE in late 2014 with an early access programme for hepatitis C patients with decompensated cirrhosis, followed by an extension of treatment access to all compensated cirrhotic patients during 2015 — the process of identifying patients meeting this clinical criteria and providing access to treatment is ongoing.
During 2015, treatment access was also extended to all post liver transplant patients in addition to all patients infected with hepatitis C through contaminated blood and blood products. The process of identifying these patients and extending access to treatment is continuing in 2016, the HSE told MI.
Since the commencement of the treatment programme, in excess of 430 patients have been treated using the direct-acting antivirals, with a resultant significant expenditure from the allocated budget, the HSE said.