6 August 2019
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has launched a new set of hepatitis C (HCV) resources to support the HCV elimination agenda to coincide with #WorldHepatitisDay 2019 (28 July).
The resources include a compilation of 11 case studies from eight European countries, illustrating new approaches to enhancing HCV care among people who inject drugs. They contain findings about effectiveness, sustainability and transferability of these new models of care.
HCV elimination is dependent on substantially increasing the number of people tested, diagnosed, linked to care and treated. Improving HCV care among marginalised, high-risk populations such as people who inject drugs is paramount in these efforts, they say.
The case studies document how this has successfully been done by drug treatment and harm reduction service providers in eight countries, using innovative and creative implementation practices, resulting in the development and testing of new models of care for this important target group.
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said: “The EMCDDA is fully subscribed to helping European countries prevent and reduce HCV infection among people who inject drugs. Treatments are available that can make the global elimination goal attainable, and national hepatitis policies are increasingly aligned. We must now focus on ensuring those who need care can obtain it.
“With our hepatitis C initiative, we highlight the great potential of drugs services to provide HCV testing, treatment and care. With the help of our tools, countries can systematically assess barriers and facilitators to HCV testing and improve existing practice by applying new models of care, in active cooperation with people who inject drugs. This initiative provides a practical basis to improve the quality and delivery of responses to drug use and contribute to a healthier Europe.”
Professor Matt Hickman, co-Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol who contributed to the compilation of the case studies, said: “We have developed several novel interventions to increase uptake of HCV testing in community drug clinics and primary care (HepCATT), which are highlighted by the European report. The challenge and next step for all countries is to optimise and implement these interventions more widely so that HCV treatment as prevention can be successful.”
Download Hepatitis C: new models of care for drugs services (EMCDDA).
About the NIHR HPRU in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol
The Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Evaluation of Interventions, based in Population Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and a partnership between University of Bristol and Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with University College London, Cambridge Medical Research Council (MRC) Biostatistics Unit and University of the West of England. We are a multidisciplinary team undertaking applied research on the development and evaluation of interventions to protect the public’s health. Our aim is to support PHE in delivering its objectives and functions. Our focus is on the PHE priority area of infection. Follow us on Twitter: @HPRU_EI