A Comprehensive Support Programme for Patients Diagnosed With Chronic Hepatitis B: “PATH B” Coming Soon – ELPA – European Liver Patients Association

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2011-07-27 12:57

PRESS RELEASE

A Comprehensive Support Programme for Patients Diagnosed With Chronic Hepatitis B: “PATH B” Coming Soon

  • Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, with 10-30 million new infections every year1, yet there remains a lack of reliable resources for patients and caregivers
  • PATH B is a new programme that provides information and tools to guide patients through the stages of chronic hepatitis B; from diagnosis to long term disease management

July 28, 2011 – The European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) and the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), announced on the 4th annual World Hepatitis Day that ‘PATH B – “Patients and Professionals Acting Together for Hepatitis B” – My journey with chronic hepatitis B’, a comprehensive educational resource designed to improve the lives of people living with chronic hepatitis B, is to be launched in August 2011. PATH B aims to increase patient understanding of the consequences of chronic hepatitis B and improve patient-physician dialogue, with the goal of enhancing chronic hepatitis B disease management, resulting in a better quality of life.

The PATH B programme, the first of its kind, was developed by an independent advisory board that includes people living with hepatitis B, as well as patient advocacy group representatives and leading hepatologists from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. The program was organised and funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

An example of the PATH B resource, an interactive PDF, can be previewed now at  https://elpa-info.org/pdf/PathB_Toolkit_teaser.pdf 

Challenges Faced by Chronic Hepatitis B Patients

Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world.[1] There are 350-400 million people infected with chronic hepatitis B worldwide,1,3 yet it remains a disease that is often under diagnosed and under treated. In fact, an estimated 50% of those diagnosed are not being treated, even though they meet guideline criteria for treatment.4

“There is a large information gap for chronic hepatitis B patients between their initial diagnoses and the long-term management of their disease,” said PATH B advisory board member, Achim Kautz, ELPA Board Member. “For the first time, this toolkit seeks to fill that unmet need for complete and reliable information that patients can depend on through every step of their disease.”

“As a clinician, I have seen that patients who are more knowledgeable about their disease feel empowered and in control and tend to have better outcomes,” said PATH B advisory board member, Dr. Mark Wilkinson of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK. “This programme is one of the most comprehensive support tools for patients diagnosed with hepatitis B available, and helps patients and physicians engage in important conversations about managing their disease in the long-term.”

Although this resource was developed primarily for patients it can also be a helpful resource for physicians to enhance dialogue with patients on disease progression, treatment and the importance of adherence and persistency.

About PATH B – Patients and Professionals Acting Together for Hepatitis B

PATH B consists of a hepatitis B journey roadmap that guides patients through every step and aspect of hepatitis B and treatment options. The six stages of the roadmap cover key aspects of a patient’s journey with essential information on hepatitis B including:  have hepatitis B?

  • Understanding my tests /Being diagnosed with hepatitis B /After my diagnosis /Starting my treatment/My long term management

Other key features of the resource include an interactive Patient Diary and the View Your Progress ‘test’ tool, which allows patients to record blood test results, giving a visual chart on how they progress with their Viral load and ALT .

The ‘PATH B – My Journey with Chronic Hepatitis B’ education resource will be available to view and download in English from PATH B partner societies from August 2011. More language versions, including German, French, Spanish, Italian, traditional Chinese, Turkish and Portuguese will be launched across Europe later this year.

PATH B Partner Organisations

European Liver Patients Association (ELPA)                                   www.elpa-info.org

World Hepatitis Alliance (Alliance)                               www.worldhepatitisalliance.org

British Liver Trust                                                                www.britishlivertrust.org.uk

Associació Catalana de Malalts d’Hepatitis (ASSCAT)                    www.asscat.org

Chinese Healthy Living Centre                                                        www.cnhlc.org.uk

Associazione EpaC onlus                                                                           www.epac.it

SOS Hépatites                                                                           www.soshepatites.org

About Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Bristol-Myers Squibb has an established expertise in Viral Hepatitis and is proud to support PATH B, a programme addressing a large unmet need for patients living with chronic hepatitis B.

Media Contacts

Achim Kautz, Board member ELPA (European Liver Patients Association)

Tel: 00 49 (1) 784429570

Raquel Jose, International Relations Director, WHA (World Hepatitis Alliance)

Tel: 00 44 7968366526

[1] Hepatitis B Foundation. Statistics. Available at http://www.hepb.org/hepb/statistics.htm. Accessed on 4 March 2011

2 Hepatitis Australia. Hepatitis B Virus: A Summary, www.hepedu.org.au/factsheets/pdf/HepB_VirusSummary.pdf, Accessed 1 July 2011

3 World Health Organization. Hepatitis B Fact Sheet. Available at

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/index.html. Accessed 1 July 2011

4 Adelphi. 2010. “Baraclude A&U – Wave 7: Global Presentation.” Slide 56.