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"Hepatitis C may be the serious disease that most combines widespread prevalence with widespread ignorance." - New HCV Policy Paper: "Economist Intelligence Unit Report Calls for Global Policy Innovation to Tackle the 'Silent Pandemic' that is Hepatitis C" from Janssen
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Experts recommend comprehensive approach to combat global health issue

Excerpts from paper

"HCV now accounts for more deaths than HIV, and 82% of those with the former disease are among those born between 1945 and 1965.

Experts agree, however, that typically only a minority of those with HCV have been diagnosed, and even in developed countries only a small number of these are treated"

"basic information about HCV has yet to filter down to the public at large

Dr John Ward, head of hepatitis section CDC, describes "a general lack of awareness and concern about the infection". A survey by Hepatitis Australia in 2011 found that only 20% of the public believed that HCV could cause cancer."

"The CDC therefore recommended in August 2012 that all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 be tested once. This group accounts for 82% of all HCV infections in the country."

"Hepatitis C is often called "the silent pandemic", in part because the virus takes so long to manifest itself in those infected"

""we don't have a real understanding of the magnitude" of the challenge HCV presents. Too few countries - developed or developing - have recently conducted the epidemiological studies necessary for good policymaking at a national, let alone a local level"

"only 20% of those diagnosed had heard of hepatitis C before being told they had it"

"In developing countries the major transmission route of HCV is through the health system, via injections with unsterilized equipment or the transfusion of infected blood"

"The healthcare costs of these "end-stage conditions" of HCV can be substantial"

"average cost of a transplant at US$139,000, although in some places it topped US$400,000"

"average cost in the US was US$200,000, but warned that many of the data were old.2 Worse still, there are not enough livers to go around: there are roughly 30,000 people on waiting lists in Europe and the US, but only about 12,000 procedures per year"

"The WHO estimates that globally 150m people have chronic HCV and 350,000 die from related liver complications each year - roughly 1% of all deaths worldwide.

Globally, approximately 27% of all cirrhosis and 25% of primary liver cancer cases trace back to hepatitis C"

"In Egypt, the number of deaths attributable to liver cancer rose from

4% to 11% between 1993 and 2009."

"In the developed countries of the Asia-Pacific region, HCV is responsible for 62% of all cirrhosis and 66% of all primary liver cancer cases. In Western Europe, the virus accounts for 38% of all cirrhosis and 44% of primary liver cancer.3"

'The scale of HCV's presence in Latin America is only just becoming known"

"healthcare providers' knowledge about hepatitis is insufficient"

In 2011, The Lancet, a medical journal, estimated that about 63% of the world's roughly 16m PWIDs (IDUs) have HCV. It also found that in 25 countries HCV

prevalence among PWIDs was between 60% and 80%, and that it topped 80% in a further 12. For Europe, the highest rates were in the Netherlands (86%), Portugal (83%), Italy (81%) and Spain (80%).9

"in southern Italy the prevalence of the virus is among Europe's highest, in part because decades ago nurses there often reused unsterilized syringes. in southern italy prevalence among those over 60 years old is 33%, but among those under 30 years old it is just 1.3%. Ivan Gardini, president of the Italian Liver

Patient Association, explains: "These problems ended many years ago, but have left their mark on levels of advanced liver disease, much still undiagnosed.""


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