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Pegylated interferon alfa-2a

- Special Authority SA2034 -- Retail pharmacy

Guidelines for the use of interferon in the treatment of hepatitis C:

Physicians considering treatment of patients with hepatitis C should discuss cases with a gastroenterologist or an infectious disease physician. All subjects undergoing treatment require careful monitoring for side effects.

Patients should be otherwise fit.

Hepatocellular carcinoma should be excluded by ultrasound examination and alpha-fetoprotein level.

Criteria for Treatment

  1. Diagnosis

    • Anti-HCV positive on at least two occasions with a positive PCR for HCV-RNA and preferably confirmed by a supplementary RIBA test; or

    • PCR-RNA positive for HCV on at least 2 occasions if antibody negative; or

    • Anti-HCV positive on at least two occasions with a positive supplementary RIBA test with a negative PCR for HCV RNA but with a liver biopsy consistent with 2(b) following.

Exclusion Criteria

  1. Autoimmune liver disease. (Interferon may exacerbate autoimmune liver disease as well as other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease).

  2. Pregnancy.

  3. Neutropenia (<2.0 × 109) and/or thrombocytopenia.

  4. Continuing alcohol abuse and/or continuing intravenous drug users.

Dosage

The current recommended dosage is 3 million units of interferon alfa-2a or interferon alfa-2b administered subcutaneously 3 times a week for 52 weeks (twelve months)

Exit Criteria

The patient’s response to interferon treatment should be reviewed at either three or four months. Interferon treatment should be discontinued in patients who do not show a substantial reduction (50%) in their mean pre-treatment ALT level at this stage.

  • Inj 180 mcg prefilled syringe
    • Brand Fully subsidised brand. Pegasys
    • Pharmacode2162806
    • Subsidy $500.00
    • Measure / Qty per 4

Note: Pharmac will consider funding ribavirin for the small group of patients who have a clinical need for ribavirin and meet Special Authority criteria. Please contact the Hepatitis C Coordinator at Pharmac on 0800-023-588 option 4.

  • Rectangle page icon symoblising a PDF. PDF
  • A tick icon. Fully subsidised
  • An oval with the number 29 in it. Unapproved medicine under Section 29
  • An asterisk symbol. 3 or 6 months should be dispensed at once
  • Two duplicate pages icon. Click to copy
  • A triangle symbol. Three months supply may be dispensed at one time if endorsed "certified exemption" by the prescriber or pharmacist.
  • OP Original pack
  • B Bolded Pharmacode means that the product is to be delisted soon
  • Sole Subsidised Supply