Stop "Silent epidemic": Research-based pharmaceutical industry report supports comprehensive approach to viral hepatitis
Geneva, 20 May 2014 - The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has published today a new report and
recommendations on Hepatitis encouraging a comprehensive approach to fighting this silent epidemic.
Titled "Towards a Sustainable, Intersectoral Approach to Viral Hepatitis", the
report is meant to inform the upcoming discussion at the 67th World Health Assembly.
Hepatitis B and C (HBV, HCV) are devastating viral diseases which are more common than HIV/AIDS. The virus progresses
very slowly over the years. As a result many patients are unaware they are infected until serious complications emerge. 15-30%
of people with chronic HCV infection will develop cirrhosis; HCV is the major cause of liver cancer. Viral hepatitis is
responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year causing individual suffering and putting a huge cost to society in
terms of lost productivity and cost of healthcare services.
"We have devoted substantial efforts to developing prevention and treatment options and are making all necessary efforts
to bring up solutions that further increase cure rates and reduce treatment duration and toxicity" - says Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA
Director General. "However, treatment is only part of the picture. Experience our industry gained
through health partnerships in low- and middle-income
countries makes it clear that to address hepatitis we need a comprehensive approach that combines research,
prevention, screening and care. We need to act together to stop this silent epidemic," Pisani adds.
While 95% of HBV patients could be treated and 90% of HCV patients potentially cured, at most 20% and 2-3% of them
respectively receive adequate treatment. IFPMA's Report contributes
to the global health discussion on the best way of fighting the epidemic. It recommends a comprehensive approach to:
- Raise awareness and improve the understanding of viral hepatitis and prevention methods, both among health professionals and individuals
(including also prevention of nosocomial transmission and special focus on vulnerable high-risk groups).
- Continue implementing vaccination programmes against HBV.
- Collect reliable data on the epidemiology and burden of viral hepatitis.
- Improve funding and availability of screening to help patients seek early diagnosis and improved funding for treatment programmes.
- Develop comprehensive care networks with embedded standards of care.
- Leverage existing HIV infrastructure to improve detection and treatment rates for co-infected people.
Founded in 1968, the IFPMA is a global, non-profit, nongovernmental organization. With members across the globe and a secretariat
based in Geneva, Switzerland, the IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical industry, including the biotechnology and
The IFPMA advocates policies that encourage discovery of and access to life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to improve the health of people everywhere.www.ifpma.org
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