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An innovative University of Sydney study is underway to explore whether paying someone a cash incentive would motivate them to start hepatitis C treatment, and if it does, what is the sweet spot. The study will also look at whether paying a GP to prescribe hepatitis C treatment will increase treatment initiation rate.

People who have hepatitis C but have not received treatment in the last six months are eligible to join the study. Participants are required to re-test for hepatitis C and must receive a positive result before being referred for treatment.  All participants will be compensated $105 for taking the test.

Participants may then be chosen to receive a reward payment for commencing hepatitis C treatment. This randomly assigned cash reward will range from smaller amounts up to $1000. The amount of cash reward offered will be randomly varied, with the variations providing data on whether there is a motivation “price point” – the level is enough to move participants to fill a prescription and start treatment.

All patients who complete treatment will receive a $75 compensation on getting a sustained virological response (SVR) at four weeks post treatment. It is unclear if there will be follow up with those who re-tested positive but did not go on to treatment.

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