What is the Hepatitis C Coalition?

The Hepatitis C Coalition is a group of leading clinicians, patient organisations, professional groups, industry and other interested parties committed to reducing hepatitis C-related illness and the eventual elimination of the virus. The Hepatitis C Coalition receives funding from AbbVie, Gilead Sciences and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Our Chair is Steve Ryder, Professor of Hepatology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Biomedical Research Unit.

What is our goal?

Some 214,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with chronic HCV. Many of these do not know that they have the virus and at present only 4% of those chronically infected receive treatment each year – an unacceptably low number.

Yet with the right diagnosis and treatment, HCV is curable, thanks to new therapies that are now available. Research from the London Joint Working Group on Substance Use & Hepatitis C (LJWG) found it was cheaper to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (CHCV) than to allow the disease to progress, and that treating just 10% of those people with HCV could save £200 million in London alone.

We want to see a more coordinated and effective approach to testing, treating and curing people with hepatitis C (HCV) in the UK and greater emphasis on the prevention of new infections.

Our vision is to see:

• Hepatitis C-related liver cancers and deaths in the UK halved by 2020. Our ultimate goal is to see the virus eliminated by 2030, in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) target.

• More testing for HCV and other blood-borne viruses in a range of healthcare settings in the UK, as well as a more coordinated pathway in prisons.

• More patients getting access to treatment and the new therapies that can cure HCV in the UK.

• More prevention strategies targeted at people at risk of contracting HCV in the UK.

• Better coordination between the NHS, national and local government, service providers and health organisations to help reduce the current HCV patient population. We need everyone to play their part in eliminating the virus.

The coalition is currently pulling together a ‘collaborative strategy’, outlining how all parties involved in the HCV pathway can contribute collectively towards elimination of the hepatitis C virus.