The President of ELPA, MSc Tatjana Reic, took part in the presentation of EASL’s White book entitled „The burden of liver disease in Europe“, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 20th February 2013, 12:30 -14:00. As a representative of European liver patients, Tatjana Reic held a lecture entitled „The Burden of Liver Disease: the patient perspective“.
Among eminent speakers at the event there were: prof. Mark Thursz, Secretary General of EASL; Mr. Gregoire Pavillon, Executive director of EASL; prof. Patrizia Burra, EASL EU Policy Councillor, Mr. Giulio Gallo from DG Sanco and others. The event was hosted by Mr. Stephen Hughes MEP.
Mrs. Reic used the opportunity to direct EU policy makers’ attention to the problems liver patients face on daily basis and to the horrible consequences of untreated liver diseases. She also suggested several urgent measures to reduce the consequences and to prevent spreading of infectious liver diseases, especially viral hepatitis B and C. Mrs. Reic appealed to the members of the MEP liver group to discuss the importance of early diagnosis of chronic liver diseases at some of their future meetings. With regard to early diagnosis, she emphasized that liver enzyme tests should be included in the routine health check-ups throughout Europe. The implementation of this measure would not significantly increase the costs, because the price of such tests is only 6 Euro cents per piece, a price less than that of an egg. Also, these liver enzyme tests are very simple and non-invasive.
It is already known to us that the majority of hepatitis B and C patients are unaware of their status and this White book confirms the fact again. According to EASL White book „The Burden of Liver disease in Europe“, as much as 90 % of infected people are unaware of it. It’s really a shocking percentage.
The White book is available online at: http://www.easl.eu/assets/application/files/54ae845caec619f_file.pdf