Discussing Unmet Needs in Hepatitis B for 2024

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In this segment of our 6-part discussion on updates and unmet needs within the management of hepatitis B virus focuses on the most pressing unmet needs in HBV for 2024.

In recognition of May 19 as World Hepatitis Testing Day and the month of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, we are launching our latest HCPLive Special Report, which spotlights a conversation between subject matter experts on updates and unmet needs in the management of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 2024.

Although not discussed with the same frequency and urgency as hepatitis C (HCV) within public health circles, HBV represents a significant impact to public health globally and within the US, where an estimated 2.4 million are chronically infected, because unlike with HCV, there is no cure for these chronically infected patients. However, like HCV, the ongoing opioid crisis in the US has contributed to ballooning rates of acute hepatitis B infection in recent years and only 25% of infected individuals receive a diagnosis, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation.

The fifth in our 6-part series, moderator Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, asks Nancy Reau, MD, and Andrew Talal, MD, about unmet needs in HBV management. Reau emphasized the importance of the CDC and WHO's simplified screening and treatment guidelines. She stressed the need to identify patients unaware of their status and ensure regular monitoring and treatment for those diagnosed. Talal highlighted expanding treatment access through telementoring and telemedicine, especially for patients with digital and health literacy challenges. He suggested these approaches should be further explored and implemented.

Cohen added that navigating patients through care is vital and requires more funding. She noted that patients often feel excluded from treatment decisions. Cohen highlights how new WHO guidelines encourage involving patients in discussions about their treatment preferences, but also emphasized the present need to address the quality of life impacts in future management guidelines.

In this 6-part discussion, our group of experts tackles the following topics:

Panelists:

  • Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH (Moderator): President of the Hepatitis B Foundation.
  • Nancy Reau, MD: Richard B. Capps Chair of Hepatology, Associate Director of Solid Organ Transplantation, and Section Chief of Hepatology at Rush University Medical Center.
  • Andrew Talal, MD: Professor of Medicine and Founder/Director of the Center for Research and Clinical Care in Liver Disease at the State University of New York at Buffalo - School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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