GSK China aids "Poverty Alleviation and Health Preservation” programme to improve hepatitis prevention and treatment in western China and poverty-stricken areas

Beijing, China--The launch ceremony of "Poverty Alleviation and Health Preservation - Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment" programme sponsored by the Department for Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission (NHC) and organised by the China Health Promotion Foundation (CHPF) took place in Beijing 29 July on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day. During the same period, satellite events are held in Tibet and Xinjiang. As the standalone sponsor, GSK China is committed to support the strategic goal of the government's "Health Silk Road" initiative. GSK will collaborate with various parties to drive poverty alleviation and the prevention of infectious diseases in western China, to block mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis, and to achieve the country's healthcare goals for hepatitis prevention and control.


The "Global Hepatitis Report 2017" published by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that globally, about 325 million people are currently infected with chronic hepatitis B or C viruses. In 2015, viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths. Today, the WHO has identified viral hepatitis as a global public health threat. Hepatitis B is widespread in China. In recent years, thanks to the ongoing efforts of numerous stakeholders, China has achieved remarkable results in preventing and controlling the disease. In 2015, the infection rate of hepatitis B virus was reduced to less than 1% among children under 5, and the vaccination rate for all sufferers was more than 90%. The successful experience in hepatitis B treatment and prevention of China has been globally recognised as an outstanding model among developing countries.


Yet China has a vast territory, and healthcare is still unbalanced from one region to another. Preventive measures in the west and in other poverty-stricken areas are still relatively low, action to block mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus is still not properly standardised, and there are a large number of people infected with viral hepatitis. The "Poverty Alleviation and Health Preservation - Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment" programme is designed to meet the requirements of the NHC for a three-year action plan.

During the programme’s three-year period, experts will be involved in at least 30 grassroots events designed to prevent hepatitis in 12 provinces and equivalent administrative units - Xinjiang, Yunnan, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Qinghai, Sichuan, Ningxia, and Guizhou. The experts will visit grassroots organisations in the west and targeted poverty-stricken areas to increase public health awareness, promote good health, and provide technical support. Meanwhile, centres will be created in several developed cities to train 300 additional professionals, who will use their new skills to increase the hepatitis B vaccination rate, to help block mother-to-child transmission, to standardize the treatments for hepatitis B patients, and to eventually realise the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.


"GSK has long been working on the prevention and treatment of hepatitis, and our mission is to help people do more, feel better, and live longer," said Thomas Willemsen, General Manager, GSK China Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines. "Supporting the 'Poverty Alleviation and Health Preservation - Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment' programme is another demonstration of our commitment to be 'in China, with China, for China'. Through this programme, we are confident that viral hepatitis prevention and control will be further improved in China's western regions, especially the poverty-stricken areas, that the public's understanding of chronic hepatitis will be further enhanced, and that the accessibility of effective therapies will be further increased."


Over the past 19 years, GSK has been providing support for the training of grass-root doctors working on hepatitis B prevention and treatment, and has been helping with the prevention and control of viral hepatitis in China. Since September 2015, in cooperation with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (formerly the NHFPC, now the NHC), GSK has been running a training programme covering over 9,000 grass-root doctors working on the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B . In May 2016, GSK China announced reductions in the price of first-line chronic hepatitis B drugs in China by up to 67%. This announcement was based on the first results of the national drug price negotiation released by the NHFPC together with other related central government commissions and ministries. In March 2017, GSK China announced that four products, including Viread, had been put on the List of Medicines for National Basic Medical Insurance, Work-Related Injury Insurance, and Maternity Insurance (the 2017 edition). While hepatitis B cannot be completely cured, reducing drug prices can effectively reduce the patient's burden and enhance medication compliance, and thus help carry out the efforts to prevent infectious diseases and achieve our country's strategic goal for hepatitis prevention and control.


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About the China Health Promotion Foundation

The China Health Promotion Foundation (CHPF) is a national charity organized under the auspices of the National Health Commission (NHC), and registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in December 2006 as approved by the State Council. In 2016, it was rated as an AAA national charity foundation. The CHPF is designed to raise funds, to provide programme-specific grants, to assist the government in launching health promotion campaigns, to drive health promotion efforts, and to help improve public health knowledge and achieve the goals of the "Healthy China" strategy.


GSK & GSK commitment to China

We are a science-led global healthcare company. We research, develop and manufacture a wide range of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. People are at the heart of what we do. We strive to bring high quality, high performing products to everyone who needs them. Creating innovative products and improving access to them is critical to our mission, allowing us to help build stronger, healthier communities. In China, and around the world, we are on a mission to help people do more, feel better, live longer. We are in China, with China, for China, and our commitment remains unwavering.


For the full version of the Chinese press release, please refer to中国助力-扶贫攻坚-健康同行-肝炎健康促进与防治项目-提高西部及贫困地区肝炎规范化防治水平/


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