Hepatitis: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th May 2019.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of producing a hepatitis C elimination strategy to support the recently announced NHS England deal to help eliminate hepatitis C.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government is committed to meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) target of eliminating hepatitis C by 2030 but there are no plans at this time to publish a strategy to eliminate hepatitis C. A variety of initiatives are underway in England to improve awareness and case finding, re-engagement and linkage to care, especially in drug services, primary care, prisons and accident and emergency centres. In addition, NHS England is funding access to new hepatitis C treatments in accordance with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

A summary of progress towards achieving the elimination goal was published in 2017 in Public Health England’s report, ‘Hepatitis C in the UK’ at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632465/HCV_in_the_uk_report_2017.pdf

This showed that the United Kingdom is on target to meet the WHO interim goal of reducing hepatitis C mortality by 10% by 2020. Better access to improved treatment has led to the first fall in deaths from severe hepatitis C related liver disease in a decade.

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