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Hepatitis C

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of (a) the disease burden secondary to hepatitis C infection and (b) the resources necessary to manage the consequences of Hepatitis C infection over the next 20 years; and if she will make a statement. (104378)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has estimated the current burden of disease secondary to, or related to, hepatitis C and is carrying out work to predict the future burden of disease. The information is contained in the HPA's report “Hepatitis C in England—The First Health Protection Agency Annual Report 2005”, which has been placed in the Library.

The projected demand for and costs of hepatitis C services over the next twenty years are unclear given several uncertainties, including the number of new infections during that period, the rate at which people with existing infections are diagnosed, the number of patients with mild hepatitis C who opt to defer treatment to see whether progressive liver disease develops and the emergence of new therapies.