Budapest, July 26 (MTI) – The Hungarian government wants to expand testing for hepatitis C in the future and intends to ensure quicker treatment for patients, a health-care official said on Tuesday.
Attila Beneda, deputy state secretary for health care, told a press conference on the occasion of the upcoming World Hepatitis Day that last year health organisations made a successful push to introduce the newest hepatitis C drugs in Hungary. The new drugs cure more than 90 percent of patients, he said.
Beneda said the government has allocated more than 5 billion forints (EUR 16m) for hepatitis C treatment this year.
He urged European Union level cooperation in the fight against hepatitis C so that more patients can get treated while the disease is in its early stages.
Klára Werling, head of the Hungarian Association of Chronic Hepatitis Patients, said Hungary is estimated to have 70,000 people living with hepatitis, 50,000 of whom suffer from chronic liver disease. However, only 20,000 of them have been diagnosed and only 10,000 are receiving treatment, she said.
Zsófia Pusztai, head of the World Health Organisation’s Hungarian office, said that around 400 million people live with hepatitis B or C worldwide, which is more than ten times the amount of people infected with HIV.