The Hepatitis B and C Public Policy Association works to urge awareness of and the formulation of public policy responses to the epidemic of hepatitis B and hepatitis C across Europe and on Europe’s borders.
The Association’s approach aligns with the broad programs of the major international public health institutions, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission’s agency European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The Association also supports, through its emphasis on public policy, the work of EASL and ELPA in Europe.
In October 2010 the Association hosted a summit conference on Hepatitis B and C in Europe countries under the auspices of the Belgian EU Presidency and launched a Call to Action there.
In December 2012 the Association hosted a summit conference on Hepatitis B and C in Mediterranean and Balkan countries countries under the auspices of the Cyprus EU Presidency and launched a Call to Action there aimed at the Conference’s target regions. The Call to Action is available in the 15 languages of this target audience.
In 2013 the Association’s activities included:
1. Communicating the messages of the 2012 Call to Action:
- An initial report on the Conference was widely disseminated by the Association’s Newsletter and by free availability on the Association’s website and on the websites of other associations including World Health Organisation-Europe, Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board, and World Hepatitis Alliance.
- The Call to Action is available on the Association’s website translated into the 15 languages of the Cyprus Conference’s target countries.
- The Journal of Viral Hepatitis Publication published a full report of this event in an independent supplement in June 2013.
- Production of a slide deck presenting the data, recommendations and conclusions of the Cyprus Conference. It is freely available for downloading from the Association’s website.
2. Building on the messages of the Call to Action at national level:
The Association jointly with the Hellenic Association for the Study of Liver Diseases organized a half-day conference on ‘Viral hepatitis B & C and health policies in Greece’.
The Association was a non-financial sponsor of a hepatitis awareness event organized by the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) and the Hellenic Liver Patient Association ‘Prometheus’ in Athens. (Q2, 2013).
The Association sponsored a symposium hosted jointly by AISF (Associazione Italiana Studio del Fegato – Italian national branch of EASL) and SIMG (Societa Italiana dei Medici Generalisti – Italian Association of Family Physicians) which launched the new national Italian recommendations for the integrated management (between family physicians and hepatologists) of patients with HCV. These recommendations were drawn up according to EASL guidelines, as adapted to the national Italian situation.
3. Policy Development in Europe
The Association’s co-Chairs and members represented the Association and ensured its input at key European and global forums shaping policy development on the management and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis.
These include the EU Hepframe Taskforce (set up by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and the Global Hepatitis Network’s National Planning Working Group (set up by the World Health Organisation), where the co-Chairs are members.
4. Expansion of Association’s Newsletter
A professional editor was engaged and an international Editoral Board created to aid the Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s Newsletter Prof. Massimo Colombo (past editor-in-chief of EASL’s Journal of Hepatology).
5. Barriers to Treatment and Care
The investigation into the subject of barriers to care and treatment for patients with chronic viral hepatitis in the EU which was commissioned by the Association was largely completed.
Principal investigators Prof. George Papatheodoridis and Prof. Heiner Wedemeyer, both members of the Association, worked on 2 pieces of work
- A systematic review and evaluation on barriers to care and treatment for patients with chronic viral hepatitis in europe and
- Perceptions on barriers to the appropriate management for patients with chronic viral hepatitis in EU Member States.
6. Overview policies for prevention, care and treatment of hepatitis B and C
The extensive slide decks providing an ‘Overview of policies for prevention, care and treatment for hepatitis B and hepatitis C’ were updated to cover 2013 inclusive.
HepBC PPA’s activities during 2014 included:
Athens High Level Meeting: ‘Economic crisis and healthcare – assuring access to public health services: the case of hepatitis B and C’.
HepBC PPA organized and hosted this event on 3-4 June 2014 in Athens, Greece under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and the Greek Ministries of Health and of Foreign Affairs.
The event was financially sponsored by AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Hellas and Gilead Sciences Europe. Non-financial endorsers were: Correlation Network, EASL/European Association for the Study of the Liver, ECDC/European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, ELPA/European Liver Patients Association, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, International Centre for Migration, Health and Development, Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board, World Hepatitis Alliance.
Liver International publication
The work of HepBC PPA’s Working Group on Barriers to Care and Treatment was published as a systematic review in Liver International (vol. 34, Issue 10) and is freely available on http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/liv.12565/pdf.
Lead investigators were George Papatheodoridis and Heiner Wedemeyer.
Their work and its publication were commissioned and funded by the Association, and received non-financial support from EASL and ELPA.
HepBC PPA’s Newsletter was published 5 times in 2015. Editor-in-Chief Massimo Colombo is supported by a part-time professional editor and a board of experts from Europe, the US and Asia. The Newsletter reaches 3,500 active names.
HepBC PPA continued to participate in the discussion and elaboration of national- and international-level policies on hepatitis B and hepatitis C through the participation of its directors and members in high-level meetings and conferences including those led by the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control/ECDC.