"What would have taken a hundred years for us to achieve, is now at hand!" were the first words of Prof. Angelos Hatzakis who serves at EU Council in Brussels as a co-chair of Hepatitis B and C Public Policy Association
. In light of recent discoveries, Europe has presented the so-called Hepatitis C Elimination Manifesto
the purpose of which is to leverage European political power to secure a Hepatitis C free Europe by 2030.
On February 17 2016, the European Council has identified Hepatitis C as a 'silent epidemic in EU' and set out a plan on how to exterminate the very resilient viral liver infection. This is made possible by the recent discovery of sofosbuvir drug molecule and FDA approval for Sovaldi (400mg sofosbuvir) to be used to treat chronic Hepatitis C in as early as 2013. This has spurred the innovation in pharmaceutical industry as far as treating Hepatitis C is concerned, and as the result we have more than 5 very effective cures with which to fight Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Elimination Manifesto in Europe
In a key-note speech, Commissioner of Health and Food Safety (very similar to FDA in the US) Vytenis Andriukaitis, has demonstrated a strong resolve: "Hepatitis C has in the past been referred to as a "silent" epidemic within the European Union. It is high time that we brought this "silent" epidemic out of the shadows and into the light, so I welcome initiatives such as this Summit and the Elimination Manifesto to create momentum for action, for raising awareness and for stimulating discussion".
The policies that will drive Hepatitis C elimination in Europe were summed up. The purpose of the Hepatitis C Elimination Manifesto
- Make hepatitis C and its elimination in Europe an explicit public health priority to be pursued at all levels
- Ensure that patients, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders are directly involved in developing and implementing hepatitis C elimination strategies
- Pay particular attention to the links between hepatitis C and social marginalisation
- Introduce a European Hepatitis Awareness Week
This resolve will have a big impact on European public health and everybody connected to it.
Immigration only adds to Hepatitis C 'silent epidemic'
The new waves of immigrants to Europe is only adding Hepatitis C patients Europe will have to care of according to the Manifesto. In general, people immigrating to Europe from Syria and other Muslim countries thus far not been granted an access as efficient healthcare system as Europeans. As a result, the prevalence of Hepatitis C in people coming to Europe is greater and the extent to which Hepatitis C can reach if left unchecked, is now becoming far broader.
The Manifesto takes into the account the new-comers to Europe and has been, in the opinion of some policy leaders, created because of the extra Hepatitis C inflow into Europe that is happening today.
European Hepatitis C in numbers
This is the state of Hepatitis C in Europe.
- There are 15 million Hepatitis C patients in Europe alone
- Around 30,000 new patients are being diagnosed annually
- Hepatitis C is 7 times more prevalent than HIV
- Death related to Hepatitis C or Hepatitis C related illnesses have been rising in recent years. Data even suggests that in some countries the death toll in last 20 years went up more than 4 times
All in all, Hepatitis C in Europe is just as problematic as in the US or in Australia.
Who pays for Hepatitis C?
Here's the catch. The meeting on Hepatitis C was bought and paid for by pharmaceutical industry - companies such as AbbVie, BMS, Gilead and MSD. One might notice that all of these companies sell Hepatitis C treatments at extremely high cost - you can't get a Hepatitis C treatment below $50,000 from any of them.
For example, Merck (MSD) paid for the meeting not even a month after they introduced their first Hepatitis C drug Zepatier.
If we take into account that the prices for Hepatitis C drugs will go down because of new Zepatier drug (which costs $54,600 in the US) and because governments can negotiate better deals, we might be even so courageous to state that Europe will have to pay $50,000 per one patients.
With 15 million patients and more coming every year, this is a $750 billion market
. Now the incentive why all these pharmaceutical companies paying for European Council meeting become very much obvious. Carving even a small piece of that cake is literally worth 10s of billions of dollars.
Europe, you're behind Dr. Freeman
Let us take one moment and realizing what Doctor Freeman is doing for all Hepatitis C patients. While big pharma is paying for legitimising their way of business that draws from tax-payers money, draining health care system and insurance companies, Dr. Freeman is a way before his time - more than a year before Europe even started discussing about curing the whole continent of Hepatitis C, Dr. Freeman already stated not talking or making policies - but actually curing Hepatitis C patients with affordable medications.
While Abbvie, Gilead, Merck and BMS would need more than $750 billion to cure Europe, Dr. Freeman can procure Hepatitis C drugs for considerably lower costs directly from China. In such a way, treatment costs are lowered from over $50,000 to less than $2,000 per patients. Contact Dr. Freeman at FixHepC.com Buyers Club and we will work together to get you the medicines that Europe will be able to provide, if all works out as planned, by 2030 to every European citizen.