ELPA Launch Event - Action Plan and Burden of Hepatitis C
ELPA LAUNCH EVENT
Date: May 20, 2015, 14:00 – 15:15
Location: Radisson Blu EU Hotel, Brussels – Rue d'Idalie, 35 - 1050
Hepatitis B and C - An Action Plan for Saving Lives in Europe
Over the past four decades, we have seen a significant increase in people across Europe being affected by hepatitis B and C; both serious, asymptomatic, infectious diseases that kill around 120,000 people in Europe every year.
Last year, leading experts, institutions, patient organisations and pharmaceutical industry representatives met and agreed that the major recommendations produced between 2011 and 2014 should be compiled into one comprehensive document, to make it easier for policy makers, decision makers, civil society organisations and healthcare institutions to tackle viral hepatitis effectively.
Burden of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease, caused by the hepatitis C virus, which primarily affects the liver. The disease is often asymptomatic and only progresses slowly. An estimated 160 million persons may be infected worldwide and the corresponding estimate for the European Union is 5.5 million.
Today’s prevalent cases were mainly infected through blood transfusion and unsafe medical procedures before 1989 when the disease was yet to be discovered. Due to the slow progressive nature of the disease, those infected before 1989 now find themselves in more advanced stages of the chronic disease and run a higher risk of developing liver cirrhosis or related complications.