On September 4, 2012, my mother died of liver cirrhosis, a complication from her diabetes. At that time, I had absolutely no idea that the disease is fatal. The following year, my dad passed on from his lingering colon cancer ailment. But before that, it was a series of hospital confinements and rigorous tests. My dad’s blood type is AB+ – the rare type which is also called the Royal blood. Among the siblings, it’s only me and my older brother who is of the same type plus his son.
In one of those hospital confinements, we were asked to look for blood donors. Of course knowing we are of the same blood type, I immediately volunteered. To my dismay and surprise, I was told that I cannot donate blood because they found out that I am a Hepa B Virus carrier. Say what?! How the hell did I even get it? Oh, in many ways I was told. Maybe from the blood that was transfused to me when I gave birth to my son, or it came from my Mom’s genes.
The virus can stay in the liver for a long time, possibly even a lifetime. Although those with chronic hepatitis B infection live with an increased risk of developing liver disease later in life, many should expect to live long and healthy lives with the help or proper nutrition and medication. Whew, what a relief!
That is why I was happy to know of Mylan’s awareness campaign. The BEATHepC (Become Educated, Aware, Tested & Treated) campaign aims at spreading awareness about the disease. It will include dissemination of information through flyers and pamphlets, promoting screening among those at risk.
At the launch, endorser and advocate Michael De Mesa who suffered from Hepa C but now cured, shared his journey on how he was able to beat the disease.
Dr. Jade Jamias, Liver Specialist and President of Mylan partner Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP) said, “Chronic Hepatitis C infection may lead to serious complications such ascirrhosis and/or liver cancer. Patients with hepatitis C often do not show early symptoms and so it becomes very critical to educate the people about this infection. Early detection is key to treatment and prevention of liver disease progression. The positive news is that treatment for this disease is now easily accessible to all.”
On the other hand, Ms. Ester Tacanay, Country Manager of Mylan in Philippines said, “Hepatitis C is a chronic public health concern in the Philippines. At Mylan Philippines we are committed to provide access to medicine for treatment of hepatitis C with the objective of reducing the disease burden. Through the BEATHepC campaign Mylan aims to create awareness around risks and misconceptions about the disease and encourage early screening and treatment to prevent the disease. We are happy to partner with HSP to drive this campaign across Philippines.”
Mylan’s BEAT Hep C campaign supports the National Viral Hepatitis Task Force (NVHTF)2 to eliminate or significantly decrease the prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the Philippines. Learn more at Mylan.com and website at investor.mylan.com. For further information, visit www.hsp.org.ph
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a disease that affects the liver and is caused by the hep C virus. Hep C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hep C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Hep C generally progresses slowly, over the course of 10 to 40 years. It attacks and damages the liver, killing liver cells in the process. As a result, scar tissue forms, a process called fibrosis. For about 10 to 20 percent of people infected, Hep C can eventually lead to scarring of the liver (also called cirrhosis). Although some people will experience symptoms, about 80 percent of people with acute Hep C do not have any symptoms.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 7,500 marketed products around the world, including antiretroviral therapies on which more than 40% of people being treated for HIV/AIDS globally depend. We market our products in more than 165 countries and territories. We are one of the world’s largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Every member of our approximately 35,000-strong workforce is dedicated to creating better health for a better world, one person at a time. Learn more at Mylan.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at investor.mylan.com.
About Hepatology Society of the Philippines
The Hepatology Society of the Philippines is a non-governmental organization committed to:
Provide and promote comprehensive information to the public and to the medical community.
Promote research to advance the field of hepatology to provide relevant care to patients.
Collaborate with the government in formulating in liver related health policies
Share information, services and expertise with the global community towards the prevention and treatment of liver diseases It is the only liver society recognized by the Philippine Medical Association, Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine Society of Gastroenterology and Philippine Society of Digestive Endoscopy. For further information, visit www.hsp.org.ph