ELPA is dedicated to promote the eradication of HCV in Europe and to encourage national associations to play a key role in achieving this goal. Over the past ten years, ELPA has supported its rnembers in many ways to become leaders in the struggle for liver patients in their
country. ELPA members get general advocacy training, conferences and workshops. receiving knowledge that they can apply in their national activities. Going further in raising the awareness on the Hepatitis and the consequences that it has on patients and their families, we have made a documentary film showing the struggle of people who were once diagnosed, are still fighting or just helping to eliminate this disease.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). Globally, it is estimated that there are between 130 -150 people infected with the virus, more than half still undiagnosed, and that about 700,000 people die each year from a liver disease related to hepatitis C, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. To date, existing treatments to remove the virus have been complex, with a low percentage of effectiveness and a highly harmful side effects. The arrival of the drugs known as new generation have been considered a great discovery by specialists, as they allow to cure virtually all patients easily, quickly and almost without any symptoms and, most importantly, it open up the real possibility of eradicate the disease in the next few decades.
Despite of the evidence of the effectiveness of such treatments, its implementation is a major economic investment for the health system. On this scenario, the need of the creation of a strategic plan in each country arise. This plan is usually made by a coalition between different multistakeholders, key-decisions makers and political representatives, with the indispensable participation of patient groups and associations.
Several meetings, studies, negotiations, including the incursion of lobbying by those affected have been necessary in many countries to start the integration processes and implementation of the new treatments. Many of these countries have understood that an immediate investment on the new drugs means not only to save lives, but a great cost savings in the medium term. In other countries, however, favorable resolution for the creation of a strategic plan that includes new treatments into the system seems to be still a distant goal.
If you want to learn more about the making of the documentary, follow this link to the website entirely dedicated to the Hep C – From Hell to Hope.
We would like to thank to all who have participated in making of this documentary as well as to Abbvie Inc who has generously supported this project.