The ACMD supports access to hepatitis C treatment for people who use heroin

A report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) addresses the treatment of hepatitis C amongst people who use heroin. It highlights how hepatitis C could be eliminated amongst people in drug treatment and how the variations in access to treatment for hepatitis C reduces the likelihood of successful outcomes from drug treatment.

'How can opioid substitution therapy be optimised to maximise recovery outcomes for service users?’ points out that ‘the new treatment regimens for hepatitis C could result in the vast majority becoming free of the hepatitis C virus.’ This observation echoes the Hepatitis C Trust’s goal of the elimination of the virus as a serious public health issue.

The prevalence of hepatitis C amongst people who inject drugs in the UK is estimated to be 50%.

Despite this ‘the ACMD is particularly concerned that access to evidence-based health treatment for both mental health problems and now treatable hepatitis C, appears to be variable.'

The ACMD go on to state that 'this is of great concern as ongoing physical and mental health problems are a barrier to success in OST and to achieving recovery outcomes including well-being and employment.'