The Association’s output based on the expertise of its members and of participating non-members is maximized through the operation of Working Groups.
The Working Groups will cover:
1. A Newsletter
2. Organisation of National Mini HCV Summits at the European Parliament
3. Innovative Finance Solutions for the treatment of HCV in Europe
4. PRO’s – Patient related outcomes
The first issue of the Association’s quarterly Newsletter was published in March 2012 (view Newsletter). Succeeding issues continue to summarize briefly the most recent data on epidemiology, prevention, public policy and therapeutic and diagnostic improvements for hepatitis B and C. The Newsletter is aimed at national and multi-lateral health authorities and regulators, advocacies including patients’ associations, and the general media as well as general practitioners and hepatologists. The Newsletter also reports on the Activities of the Association –
Summary reports of the summits and High-level meetings organized by the Association and the press releases linked to these events.
Interviews with key policy makers, national and European members of parliament and their drive to eliminate hepatitis.
2) National Mini HCV summits at the European Parliament 2017-2019
These Mini summits hosted by an MEP of the host country in the European Parliament aim to provide a platform for the national and EU policymakers to discuss the country specific challenges of HCV elimination and provide them with solutions on how to implement best practices as well as discuss and explore options to secure the finance to support of the National Hepatitis Action Plans. Hepatitis B&C Public Policy Association organized a first series of three Mini Policy summits dedicated to the elimination of HCV in Romania (September 27th 2017) Portugal (October 12th 2017) Greece (22nd December 2017). Further Mini summits are in the pipeline. See www.hcvbrusselssummit.eu. For further information contact: Mr. George Kalamitsis [email protected]
3) Innovative Finance Solutions for the Treatment of HCV in Europe
New antiviral drugs offer the first true opportunity to tackle the global Hepatitis C epidemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced its aim to eliminate the disease by 2030. Whilst this is feasible, initial investment is needed to provide hepatitis C testing and treatment at a population scale. Such investment will not only reduce the disease burden but also result in cost savings in the long term. Through the Innovative Finance Project we review the evidence for innovative financing mechanisms including hypothecated taxes, social impact bonds, and commercial bonds to fund the war on HCV. We argue that innovative financing through commercial bonds can provide an effective and economically feasible alternative to current funding methods. By tackling HCV now, initial investments can be offset against longer-term savings yielded though the benefits of effective, accessible HCV care, thereby reducing the financial burden of elimination on future generations making hepatitis C elimination feasible.
The project involves devising a bond model for the treatment of HCV. This was presented by Prof Jagpreet Chhatwal, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Senior Scientist, Institute for Technology Assessment, Massachusetts General Hospital at the 2nd EU HCV Policy summit in Brussels held on 6th June 2018 entitled “Securing Sustainable funding for viral hepatitis C elimination plans”. The findings of this project will be published in a Scientific Journal in the course of 2018.
Email: [email protected]
4) PROs Patient related Outcomes
This project aims to produce a “position” paper on PROs in liver diseases, especially taking into consideration the burden of work productivity loss in HCV disease and the implications in cost effectiveness analysis.
Given his expertise, Zobair Younossi was invited and accepted to lead the project. Other members of the group are George Papatheodoridis, Angelos Hatzakis, Greece, Patrice Cacoub,France, Francesco Negro, Switzerland and Heiner Wedemeyer, Germany.
An initial one-day meeting was organized in Munich, Germany in January 2018, during which several ideas on the organization of the project were discussed.
Zobair Younossi presented “Cost of HCV elimination: Direct medical cost, patients reported outcomes and productivity loss” at the 2nd EU HCV summit held in Brussels on 6th June 2018″Securing Sustainable funding for viral hepatitis C elimination plans”.
The complete findings of the PROs project were published in an open access article in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis in an article entitled “The Comprehensive Outcomes of Hepatitis C Virus infection: A Multi-faceted Chronic disease”
5) Global Hepatitis Partnership
The Association’s Working Group on Hepatitis as a Millenium Development Goal hosted a high-level meeting of international policy experts in London in December 2011, which agreed an approach towards highlighting viral hepatitis as a global public health emergency.
The Association is now exploring with the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) and the World Federation of Public Health Associations how set up such a partnership. It would complement the very new global hepatitis network being set up by the World Health Organisation.
The Working Group is led by Charles Gore, Co-Chair of the Hepatitis B and C Public Policy Association and by Howard Thomas, founder member of the Association.
6) Barriers to Treatment & Care
The Association has commissioned an investigation into the subject of barriers to care and treatment for patients with chronic viral hepatitis in the EU.
Principal investigators Prof. George Papatheodoridis and Prof. Heiner Wedemeyer, both members of the Association, are have produced 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
For any comments on this project please contact Prof. Papatheodoridis on [email protected].