One-off prescribers: the face of DAA prescribing in general practice

A report back on Professor Greg Dore’s presentation: DAA uptake and outcomes in Australia delivered at the Treating Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum

In this session, we were given an update on the current data about who is prescribing DAAs in Australia and how it is going, with a bit of a focus on general practice.

As a registrar, I have just entered into the mythical land of general practice, having come as we all do from a few years in the hectic hospital world. I found this talk interesting as it approached the issue of hepatitis C infection in a way that I had not encountered very often in acute medicine - as a question of population health happening live in front of our very eyes. The statistical and epidemiological aspects of chronic disease often seem like such intangible and unassailable concerns, which doctors can attempt to sway towards health but which all too often are unsurmountable or in the hands of policy-makers. 


However, when it comes to hepatitis C, Prof Dore demonstrated the changes happening right now in our community, thanks to the incredible new medicines made freely available. The power to cure has come to the hands of primary care providers, and it is such a refreshing thing to be able to do. More GPs are prescribing DAAs, though I can absolutely see how for some it is just another sub-specialist’s raison d’être vying for attention amongst many competing priorities. The figure demonstrating that most GPs have prescribed DAAs only once reassures me that the process is simple and supported enough that it can be done by those without a high number of cases. 


Though I have yet to treat anyone for hepatitis C, it is now a tangible and possible thing I could do, and I have some appreciation of the grand plan behind it all.


Author bio: Alice is a GP registrar from the north coast, with an interest in drug and alcohol medicine.