Hepatitis C "effectively eradicated" among Irish haemophilia patients

The Health Minister has welcomed the news as a “great achievement for Ireland”

Hepatitis C "effectively eradicated" among Irish haemophilia patients

Photocall file photo

The Irish Haemophilia Society says the effective eradication of Hepatitis C among its members is a “huge milestone.”

Between 1970 and 1991 a total of 240 patients were infected with Hepatitis C through the use of contaminated blood products for state blood transfusions.

Around 123 of the surviving patients were offered treatment under the HSE's National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme this year.

The Department of Health reports that the programme has seen a 90% success rate for those who have completed their treatment.

Brian O'Mahony, CEO of the Irish Haemophilia Society said today's news is a huge step forward for those affected:

“We have been working for a number of years now to access to treatment [...] and we have finally reached the point where every person with Haemophilia has been offered treatment or taken treatment for Hepatitis C.

“We are very pleased; this is a big milestone for the society.

“I think this was by far the biggest cause of death in the community for the last 20 or 30 years - infection with Hepatitis C and HIV due to blood products.”

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris has welcomed the news as a “great achievement for Ireland” and said he is delighted the patients can now look forward to a, “bright, healthy future.”

“The news released today by the Irish Haemophilia Society that the Government’s continued investment in the National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme is delivering such fantastic results, is truly heartening,” he said.

"The effective eradication of this disease will transform the lives of these patients, their families and those who continue to access the new direct acting anti-viral medicines under the Programme.”

The Department of Health have committed to ensuring that, “all state infected people will have been offered and commenced treatment” by the end of 2017.