Jakarta, 6 April 2023
World Hepatitis Day which is celebrated every July 28 has a theme for 2 consecutive years regarding bringing Hepatitis service access closer because Hepatitis cannot wait. Indonesia itself adopted this theme and in 2022 the Government launched the theme “Towards a Generation Free of Hepatitis”.
This theme highlights the injustices caused by the lack of action against hepatitis and focuses on the actions needed to achieve Hepatitis elimination by 2030.
Globally, WHO records 325 million people living with hepatitis, with more than 1.1 million people dying each year from hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hepatitis is one of the deadliest and most neglected diseases and health crisis. This disease claims a life every 30 seconds. In Indonesia itself, the results of basic health research show that the prevalence of Hepatitis C in Indonesia is 1% of the total population of Indonesia. Studies show that by 2040, deaths from viral hepatitis are expected to exceed deaths from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Caroline Thomas from the Peduli Hati Bangsa Foundation, which represents a group of patients and families of people with Hepatitis, informed that from their records delays in the procurement of Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) drugs to treat Hepatitis C have occurred repeatedly and are currently happening.
Currently, the government is providing 2 drug programs to treat Hepatitis C, Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir. Sofosbuvir has experienced national stock outs twice, namely in July-November 2019 and July-September 2022. Meanwhile, Daclatasvir has also experienced national stock outs twice, namely in February-October 2020 and currently.
The Ministry of Health issued a notification letter number PM.03.02/C.III/2574/2023 informing that the vacancy for the Daclatasvir program had occurred since the end of March 2023 and was expected to be available only in August 2023.
The absence of continuity and good procurement planning will certainly affect the quality of life of people living with Hepatitis C and Indonesia will not achieve Hepatitis elimination by 2030. Therefore the Peduli Hati Bangsa Foundation, representing patients and their families, calls for an immediate improvement in the procurement of Hepatitis C antiviral drugs from the Government of Indonesia.