Around 1% of the estimated 100 million Filipinos have chronic hepatitis C1
Hepatitis C is a disease that affects the liver and is caused by the hep C virus. Hep C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hep C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Hep C generally progresses slowly, over the course of 10 to 40 years. It attacks and damages the liver, killing liver cells in the process. As a result, scar tissue forms, a process called fibrosis. For about 10 to 20 percent of people infected, Hep C can eventually lead to scarring of the liver (also called cirrhosis). Although some people will experience symptoms, about 80 percent of people with acute Hep C do not have any symptoms.
Mylan, one of the world’s leading global pharmaceutical companies, in association with the Hepatology Society of Philippines (HSP), launched an awareness campaign for Hepatitis C in the country. The BEATHepC (Become educated, aware, tested and treated) campaign aims at spreading awareness about the disease. It will include dissemination of information through pamphlets and promoting screening among Filipinos at risk.
The Department of Health (DoH) estimates that around 1% of the Filipino population has chronic hepatitis C1. According to the 2010 study on Global Burden of Disease by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, university of Washington viral hepatitis causes 1 million deaths each year in the Asia Pacific region. Hepatitis C is endemic in the Philippines and there is a lack of awareness about viral hepatitis and its transmission, prevention, screening, and management among patients, public, and healthcare providers.
Speaking at the launch event, Dr. Jade Jamias, Liver Specialist and President of HSP said, “Chronic Hepatitis C infection may lead to serious complications such as cirrhosis and/or liver cancer. Patients with hepatitis C often do not show early symptoms and so it becomes very critical to educate the people about this infection. Early detection is key to treatment and prevention of liver disease progression. The positive news is that treatment for this disease is now easily accessible to all.”
Ms. Ester Tacanay, Country Manager of Mylan in Philippines said, “Hepatitis C is a chronic public health concern in the Philippines. At Mylan Philippines we are committed to provide access to medicine for treatment of hepatitis C with the objective of reducing the disease burden. Through the BEATHepC campaign Mylan aims to create awareness around risks and misconceptions about the disease and encourage early screening and treatment to prevent the disease. We are happy to partner with HSP to drive this campaign across Philippines.”
Mylan’s BEATHepC campaign supports the National Viral Hepatitis Task Force (NVHTF) to eliminate or significantly decrease the prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the Philippines.