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15    Health—Hepatitis C

Senator Smith, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1053—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   from 1 March 2016, Australians will have access to a new generation of medicines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection in adults,

                 (ii)   more than 230 000 Australians are currently living with hepatitis C, and each year about 700 deaths are attributable to chronic hepatitis C infection,

                (iii)   around 10 000 Australians are diagnosed with hepatitis C each year, and

                (iv)   less than two per cent of Australian patients currently seek treatment for the deadly and debilitating disease;

    (b)   recognises that the Federal Government is investing more than $1 billion to make the new treatments available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 March 2016;

     (c)   acknowledges that the breakthrough cures could all but eradicate hepatitis C within a generation; and

    (d)   commends the Government, the Department of Health, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, Hepatitis Australia, physicians, patients and all those who have worked tirelessly to ensure the broadest possible access to these new medicines.

Question put and passed.