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Progress in the fight for Hepatitis C elimination

The momentum gained in tackling Hepatitis C before COVID-19, should not – and need not – be lost, says Professor Steve Ryder. He provides an insight into the latest developments in the fight to eliminate Hepatitis C and issues a call to action.

In April 2019, NHS England struck a deal with leading pharmaceutical companies to eliminate hepatitis C (HCV), an unprecedented move which hailed the start of a national HCV elimination programme.1 It involved those companies, who have developed ground-breaking direct acting antiviral (DAA) medicines, becoming directly involved in various projects that collectively formed the effort to eliminate a virus that, at the beginning of my career as a hepatologist, didn’t even have a name.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus affecting the liver. People can develop serious and longterm consequences of the liver, sometimes leading to their death if the virus is not treated. Around 89,000 people2 in England have chronic hepatitis C (HCV) and about 143,0003 are affected by chronic HCV in the UK.

Progress so far Over the last few years, even before the positive steps taken by NHS England, much progress had been made in reducing HCV among the population. In May 2016, The World Health Organization approved the first “Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, 2016-2021”, where targets were set to eliminate HCV as a public health problem. The UK adopted the WHO’s goal of reducing new HCV infections by 90% and cut deaths by 65% by 2030.4 In January 2018, NHS England decided to go further in deciding to eliminate the viral hepatitis by 2025 in England.5 

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Upcoming Events

AfPP Annual Conference 2022

University of York
8-11 September 2022

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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