Bristol-Myers Squibb: Our Commitment to Chronic Hepatitis B

Chronic hepatitis B is a significant global health threat that is under recognized. (1) In the United States, approximately 1.4 to 2.0 million individuals are chronically infected with the disease. (2) Due to the fact that more than two-thirds of those with chronic hepatitis B show no signs or symptoms, it is estimated that 65 percent of infected Americans remain unaware of their viral infection.(1,3)

Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to helping to address unmet medical needs through research and development, and community support. As part of our commitment, Bristol-Myers Squibb is dedicated to helping meet the needs of patients with chronic hepatitis B, through community involvement and educational resources.

For several years, Bristol-Myers Squibb has demonstrated our commitment to educating people about chronic hepatitis B and raising awareness about the disease to help bridge the gap between a patient’s initial diagnosis and management, including hosting FaceHepB educational events around the country. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s FaceHepB events bring together local physicians who are experts in the management of chronic hepatitis B on topics including disease awareness, screening and support for family members living with chronic hepatitis B. This year, panelists will also discuss the recently issued (August 2011) Asian American Treatment Recommendations.

Additionally, Bristol-Myers Squibb employs Asian American community liaisons to work with and offer support to local organizations in several areas around the country. Our community liaisons work with, and in, the community to provide educational resources to Asian Americans, host awareness events, promote hepatitis B screening, strengthen existing community programs, and encourage people to seek help from a physician for appropriate disease management.

Increasing hepatitis awareness is also a priority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – its “Healthy People 2020” initiative (released in December 2010) aims to increase the proportion of persons who are aware of their hepatitis B infection above the current rate of 33 to 66 percent. (4) Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to be a part of the community in this effort to fight chronic hepatitis B. With the willpower, resources, and a coordinated effort among all interested parties, we can fight chronic hepatitis B together.

For more information on chronic hepatitis B and to sign-up for a free doctor discussion guide, please visit www.FaceHepB.com.

About Chronic Hepatitis B
Asian-American communities are disproportionately impacted by this disease; in fact, an estimated one in ten Asian Americans is chronically infected. (1) The hepatitis B virus is up to 100 times more infectious than HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.5 A simple blood test can diagnose chronic hepatitis B, and there are options available to help manage this condition. (1,5)

About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

For additional media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Cristi Barnett, Associate Director, Public Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb at 609-252-6028.

References
1. Asian Liver Center Website. FAQ about Hepatitis B. http://liver.stanford.edu/Education/faq.html. Accessed April 6, 2011.
2. C. Cohen, S. D. Holmberg, et al. Is chronic hepatitis B being undertreated in the United States? Journal of Viral Hepatitis. October 2010.
3. IOM (Institute of Medicine). Hepatitis and liver cancer: a national strategy for prevention and control of hepatitis B and C. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2010.
4. E. B. Keeffe, Access to care and optimal treatment of chronic hepatitis B in Asian Americans: an evolving agenda. Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Aug.
5. World Health Organization Web site. Fact sheet N°204. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. Accessed April 6, 2011.

This post is also available in: Chinese

About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
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