Call for urgent review of hepatitis C programme

An independent review ordered by the Minister of Health is urgently needed. Denial of the issues in Ireland is damaging to the vulnerable patients who are in need of engagement in care, treatment and cure of their hepatitis C infection. Prof John (Jack) Lambert

We wanted to bring to your attention to an excellent retort provided by Prof John (Jack) Lambert to a previous article published in the Irish Times entitled: “Ireland on the brink of eliminating hepatitis C” (October 29th). The article details the views of Prof Aidan McCormack, clinical lead of the National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme and outlines his view that Ireland are successfully on track to meet WHO 2030 elimination targets 5 years earlier in 2025. 


We outlined some of Jack's key points of concern below: 


  • A lack of implementation of a national screening strategy 
  • Failure to deliver integarted linkage to care programmes 
  • Data: The Polaris Observatory which monitors more than 50 countries worldwide, and evaluates each country’s strategy and plans to achieve HCV elimination have concluded that Ireland's current treatment rate and elimination strategies estimates elimination by 2049. 19 years after the WHO elimination target. Data available here
  • Jeffery Lazarus, a leading viral hepatitis expert also conluded that Ireland was one of the first to sign up to the elimination mandate but will be the last to achieve it. 


For further information please read the article here.


The partnership as well as those working in services supporting those impacted by Hepatitis C continue to struggle to acheive clarity on Ireland's commitment to increased screening and treatment in the community to ensure we acheive elimination.


To review our recent position paper Eliminate Hepatitis C For once and For All click here.