Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). Globally, it is estimated that there are between 130 -150 people infected with the virus, more than half still undiagnosed, and that about 700,000 people die each year from a liver disease related to hepatitis C, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. To date, existing treatments to remove the virus have been complex, with a low percentage of effectiveness and a highly harmful side effects. The arrival of the drugs known as new generation have been considered a great discovery by specialists, as they allow to cure virtually all patients easily, quickly and almost without any symptoms and, most importantly, it open up the real possibility of eradicate the disease in the next few decades.
Despite of the evidence of the effectiveness of such treatments, its implementation is a major economic investment for the health system. On this scenario, the need of the creation of a strategic plan in each country arise. This plan is usually made by a coalition between different multistakeholders, key-decisions makers and political representatives, with the indispensable participation of patient groups and associations.
Several meetings, studies, negotiations, including the incursion of lobbying by those affected have been necessary in many countries to start the integration processes and implementation of the new treatments. Many of these countries have understood that an immediate investment on the new drugs means not only to save lives, but a great cost savings in the medium term. In other countries, however, favorable resolution for the creation of a strategic plan that includes new treatments into the system seems to be still a distant goal.
Written and directed by
Jos Man and César Rodríguez
Director of Photography
Oriol Bosch Castellet
Xavi Clara (in memoriam)
Jordi M. Villares