Hep C spending in Australia to top $1 billion

Australian health minister Sussan Ley

The government of Australia said it will spend $1 billion over 5 years to provide "groundbreaking" treatments for hepatitis C sufferers and that it hopes the work will eliminate the disease from down under within a generation, according to a report by ABC News.

The government has listed four "new generation" treatments for hep C on the country's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, a move that will dramatically drop the price from $100,000 to $6.10 for so-called concessional patients and $37.70 for general patients, ABC News reported.

The government said the drugs will treat all strains of hep C and will be provided to the 230,000 citizens affected starting in March 2016.

The country's health minister, Sussan Ley, said the new medicines have a 90% cure rate. The drugs that will be included in the scheme are: sofosbuvir with ledipasvir (Harvoni), sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), daclatasvir (Daklinza) and ribavirin (Ibavyr).

- here's the story from ABC News