Economist Intelligence Unit Report Calls for Global Policy Innovation to Tackle the ‘Silent Pandemic’ that is Hepatitis C
Jan 16, 2013 - 1:45:38 PM
Experts recommend comprehensive approach to combat global health issue
While the total number of infected individuals is unknown due to a lack of available data, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 150 million people globally are currently living with the blood-borne infectious disease, HCV.2 Of these, up to two thirds will develop chronic liver disease and one in five will develop cirrhosis.2 HCVis also the leading cause of liver transplantation worldwide1 and in the US the disease now accounts for more deaths than HIV.1
"The report highlights that worldwide, despite the significant burden of HCV, governments have failed to get a grip on the scale and impact of the disease," said Charles Gore, President of The World Hepatitis Alliance. "In both developed and developing countries, the true human and economic cost of HCV will continue to rise unless policy makers confront this urgent public health issue now."
Despite the devastating effects of HCV, the report states that it is now considered preventable and with modern treatments, the majority of suffers can become clear of the virus.1 The report notes, however, that as few as 10% of patients are currently receiving treatments and there is a large disparity in care across countries.1 As a result, the report calls for countries to take a "comprehensive approach," which takes into account local needs and resources available. This includes the following:1
"The report highlights that each country has different needs and resources; however, we urge all those involved in the management of HCV and public health to help increase awareness of the disease and look at the most effective ways of delivering effective treatment to those most in need," said Gaston Picchio, Global Hepatitis Disease Area Leader, Janssen. "Janssen is committed to working with the HCV community and will continue to engage with healthcare professionals, government officials and patient advocates around the world to support their efforts to reduce the individual and societal burden of this devastating disease."
A full copy of the EIU report and supporting materials, including an info-graphic, is available at: http://www.janssen-emea.com/The-silent-pandemic
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne infectious disease that affects the liver.3,4 With an estimated 150 million people infected worldwide,2 and three to four million people newly infected each year, HCV puts a significant burden on patients and society.5 Estimations indicate that HCV caused more than 86,000 deaths and 1.2 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in the WHO European region in 2002 (latest data available).6 Chronic infection with HCV can lead to liver cancer and other serious and fatal liver diseases.7About one-quarter of the liver transplants performed in 25 European countries in 2004 were attributable to HCV (latest data available).6
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs of our time in infectious diseases and vaccines, oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. Please visit http://www.janssen.com for more information.
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