Atlantic Member Meeting coming up, more advocacy follow ups, Member briefing #3, and more.
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Member Update

May 2016

The AHC is coming to Halifax
We are looking forward to the regional members meeting in Halifax, NS, June 6-7th, with an exciting agenda.
The Steering Committee will meet the following day, on June 8th.
Some lobsters may also be eaten... 
We are still having follow up conversations from the letters we sent in March and the April meetings in Ottawa:
  • We heard back from Dr. Taylor at PHAC on the further delay of the screening guidelines. He says that they are on schedule, recent delays will not delay the actual release, and that a fall 2016 release was the plan all along. So, we'll see.
  • Regarding the letter to the Canadian General Managers at AbbVie, Merck, and Gilead, asking them about their choice to price HCV medicines so high: Adam, Melisa, and Claire met with the Canadian General Manger of AbbVie in Toronto on May 10th. They felt it went very well, and saw the meeting as the beginning of a dialogue about pricing. It was also useful to hear their more nuanced perspective beyond what we would normally get, as understanding where they are coming from will help us shape future communication to them.
  • Several of the MPs that Daryl and Adam met with in Ottawa agreed to do SO 31s about hepatitis C, which are 60 second speeches at the beginning of House proceedings and can be on any topic the MPs choose. We are working to assist in writing these and are aiming for them to be delivered in a week in June, looking ahead to World Hepatitis Day on July 28th (when the House is not actually in session). 
  • MP Don Davies was not available to meet with us in April, but agreed to meet with Daryl at his Vancouver office on May 24th. Daryl has reported that though MP Davies did not have a lot of prior knowledge about hepatitis C, he was open to what Daryl was saying and recognized there were areas the government could be doing better. MP Davies is the NDP vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Health. We will be following up with him in the fall on his offer to put forward a motion about hepatitis C treatment and care. 

CADTH's Updated Recommendations present Provincial/Territorial Advocacy Opportunities:

You may recall that in February of this year, CADTH decided to review their recommendations on the four curative HCV medicines that are currently approved in Canada. This resulted in an updated recommendation for use on patients F0 and up, rather than F2 or higher - ie, fibrosis levels should not be an eligibility factor for treatment. (BTW, this is in line with AHC's Position paper released last November.)

As a follow up, our Policy Analyst Claire has been preparing some letters to the provinces and territories, letting them know about the update and congratulating them if their formularies are in line with the recommendations and if they are not, urging them to get in line.

Claire has also recently learned that the CDEC (Canadian Drug Expert Committee) will be releasing THEIR updated recommendations any day now, so we are waiting to see what they say, whether they further support CADTH's recommendations, which would strengthen those letters to the P/Ts significantly. 

In the Yukon, Patricia worked with NDP MLA Jan Stick, who asked the Minister of Health during Question Period last week, why the F2 restriction is still in place even though the recommendation is that treatment be available for everyone infected. 

If you would like support in helping to prep a friendly MPP or MLA to ask this question in your province, let us know, we would be happy to help. 

Hep C Advocacy Briefing #3:
Treatment Access and Pricing

The AHC has released position papers on both HCV treatment access, and on the pricing of the new curative HCV medicines.

We will be hosting a briefing and Q&A on these
position papers on 

Monday June 20 at 12:30 ET.

Please RSVP to Jennifer at

Duration will be 1 hr max. 

November 9, 2016 | Toronto. 
From the website: After two very successful editions of the International Hepatitis Cure & Eradication Meeting, we feel that the time has come to organize a separate International HBV Cure Workshop in 2016. 

The format of this workshop will be a one-day translational meeting with invited lectures, oral abstract presentations and poster viewing sessions. In order to ascertain an interactive workshop setting, much time will be allocated to Q&A sessions, roundtable discussions and debates.
For more information click
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