Daniel Zeichner visited Addenbrooke’s hospital on Friday afternoon to meet with the Hepatitis C Trust, specialist nurses, doctors and consultants, and survivors of the disease.
The hospital staff described revolutionary new drugs which cure 95% of patients who do not have liver disease. This is a huge breakthrough in the field, and is a life-changing treatment. Daniel heard from a patient who had been prescribed the new course of drugs, and has now been clear from Hepatitis C for 24 weeks. She told him this ‘miracle cure has changed the way she approached life and that a healthy lifestyle feels worth it - which confirms the importance of these medical innovations, not just on physical health but on mental health too.
The Hepatitis C Trust champion the aims of the World Health Assembly, which aims to have eliminated the disease by 2030. Their representative explained that screening is vital, and although screening is good within Drugs and Alcohol Services, it is harder to screen people from the baby boomer generation who perhaps once injected using an infected needle 30 years ago but would no longer think of themselves as that person.
Daniel said “It’s so important to protect investment into eradicating this disease, and seeing the work that is going on through our NHS, we should be really proud of these medical developments.
“It’s vital not only to support the physical health of Hepatitis C sufferers, but their mental health too. We still need to fight the stigma that remains attached to the disease. This is a clear example of the transformative impact of new medicine research - it transforms lives, and we need to support it.’’