Thursday, August 7, 2014

AbbVie begins 'first-of-its-kind' hep C charity pilot

Will work with Addaction Cornwall and The Hepatitis C Trust
Addaction's David Baldock (left) and Len Gooblar, head of strategic health initiatives at AbbVie

AbbVie begins 'first-of-its-kind' hep C charity pilot

AbbVie is piloting a new UK programme to validate different approaches to improving hepatitis C testing and treatment in those with a history of injection drug use.

The pharma company will partner with two charities on the programme, which it described as 'a first-in-class pilot' that will use an evidence-based approach encompassing workforce training, peer-to-peer education and buddying (one-on-one support that helps people through their hospital and treatment journey).

Drug users are a typically hard to reach population who find it difficult to access traditional models of care.

AbbVie, Addaction Cornwall - the local branch of the national drug and alcohol charity, and The Hepatitis C Trust are hoping that the successful completion of their pilot programme will be followed by a national roll-out in 2015.

It is estimated that in England there are 160,000 people living with chronic hepatitis C infection, 19,705 of them in the South West, and 1,398 in Cornwall.

Sue Clark, operations director, Addaction Cornwall, said: “We are proud to be leading the way in piloting a ground-breaking partnership programme to improve the health of our communities, while contributing toward a longer-term vision of eliminating the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the South West.”

Beyond testing and treating people with a history of injection drug use, the new programme hopes to free up NHS resources and reduce community-acquired transmission of hepatitis C.

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