VIENNA — In this exclusive video from the International Liver Congress 2019, Philippa Easterbrook, MD, senior scientist of the Global Hepatitis Program within the HIV Department at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, discusses the future of direct-acting antiviral access for children and adolescents with hepatitis C.
“We know there’s been an impressive scale-up of treatment of hep C-infected adults with DAAs,” Easterbrook told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “There is now increasing recognition that we now need to ensure that children and adolescents are included in this response. We know from the experience with HIV that children and adolescents were left behind in the [HCV] response.”
Easterbrook led a portion of a symposium at the meeting that reviewed recent data and discussed the next steps for treating pediatric patients with HCV. There has been “incredible progress over the last couple years,” she said, referring to FDA and EMA approvals for certain DAAs to treat patients aged 12 years and older.
In the near future, drugs will be available for children aged 3 years and older with special pediatric formulations.
“What is now needed is much more advocacy to ensure that these children and adolescents are now tested and diagnosed and linked to care and treatment,” Easterbrook said.
Reference: EASL-WHO symposium: Promoting access to DAAs for children and adolescents and experience of use in pregnant women. Presented at: International Liver Congress; April 10-14, 2019; Vienna, Austria.
Disclosure: Easterbrook reports no relevant financial disclosures.